Marijuana legalization in Ohio could boost the Weed Industry

Marijuana legalization in Ohio could boost the Weed Industry

High in the heart of it all.

Ohio’s status as America’s heartland — and its heavy marijuana users — are giving the cannabis industry hope as a potential vote on legalization approaches this fall.

A last-minute push to get enough signatures for a ballot initiative is encouraging lawyers, investors and industry advocates that Ohio could pass recreational marijuana. It would make Ohio the 24th US state to legalize recreational use, if another one doesn’t get there first, even as federal change is up in the air. And it’s spurring speculation that as it’s a swing state that’s leaned Republican, legal change in Ohio could help the industry on a national level.

That’s not the only reason the marijuana industry may be optimistic about legalization in the state.

New Frontier Data, a firm specializing in cannabis user data, reported last week that adults who use the drug in the Midwest, including Illinois, Missouri and Michigan, over-index in the heaviest users of marijuana.

Around 34% of Midwestern weed users reported using it multiple times a day, as compared with 31% of weed users in other states, according to the report. While that was buffered slightly by a lower ratio to the national average of those who used it “once every day or two,” it could be significant since cannabis companies rely most heavily on their highest-using customers.

Midwest Shows More Enthusiasm for Marijuana

“Given the long history of enforcement and stigma against cannabis in this part of the country (save for Ann Arbor, Michigan, which decriminalized possession of cannabis in 1974 and not without controversy), it is possible that legalization is opening opportunities that citizens are taking full advantage of,” New Frontier noted in an Aug. 8 report.

The firm also found that Midwesterners are more likely to use edibles than those across the country, potentially because it helps them use the still sometimes frowned-upon substance without others knowing. Around 26% of Midwestern users turn to edibles, versus 22% of nationwide users, New Frontier Found.

Ohio isn’t the only state in the Midwest that’s embracing marijuana. Minnesota, which signed recreational cannabis use into its laws in May, began sales Aug. 1. Local newspapers reported that hundreds of people showed up from across the state for the first dispensary, which opened on Red Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, around 200 miles from the Twin Cities.

Number of the week

  • 1-in-3

    The share of Colorado’s marijuana stores, or 40 out of 112, that weren’t inspected within a year of being licensed, according to an audit that checked for things like underage sales, as reported by the Denver Post.

Quote of the week

“The investments we are making in the UK and Germany, coupled with state catalysts in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and, more recently, Ohio, will provide us an unparalleled advantage as we build, leverage, and scale our global cannabis platform.”

Matt Darin

Chief executive officer of Curaleaf Holdings

Darin spoke during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

What you need to know

  • The marijuana industry is pushing more colleges and universities to offer cannabis studies, in an attempt to bolster its workforce.
  • Canopy Growth’s earnings beat estimates, but reorganizational efforts over the past two years haven’t been able to compensate for the competitive landscape in Canada and the lack of political traction in the US.
  • Tilray will buy eight beverage brands from Anheuser-Busch InBev, making it one of the largest US craft-beer brewers.
  • Being a private chef in Greenwich, Connecticut, now means catering high-end cannabis parties.
  • A Gallup poll showed that half of US residents have tried marijuana, and 17% currently smoke weed, the New York Post reported.
  • Atai Life Sciences reported results about its R-ketamine from an early-stage study.

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Region: Ohio