Ohio Legalized Medical Marijuana:
The nation's 7th largest state, Ohio, just legalized medical marijuana. Not only did they legalize it, they legalized it through the legislature, not a referendum, and the law includes a number of conditions important to widespread patient adoption.
"Twenty-one ailments are included in the broad list of qualifying conditions, ranging from chronic pain to cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder to glaucoma. The inclusion of chronic pain is important, as it can help boost patient numbers dramatically." Marijuana Business Daily
What's This Mean for Cannabis Investing:
Every investor interested in marijuana asks a similar set of questions and one of those questions is always "What's the market going to look like in X number of years?" Since we can't know the future we are left looking to leading indicators and cautiously guessing at tomorrow's landscape.
In actuality, leading indicators are useful, and with some analysis we can make educated predictions about the near-term future. For example, one of the most interesting aspects of Ohio's legalization push is that the governor, a leading Republican, signed the bill into law without any fuss. This helps clarify the position of center-right Republicans, especially governors, with regards to medical cannabis initiatives. We're unlikely to see a Republican-led push to repeal medical marijuana laws even if the Republicans win the 2016 general elections at the national level.
Another area of interest is the wide range of conditions listed in the Ohio law. Chronic pain is perhaps the most important because it is the condition with the most latitude for doctors to diagnose, whereas other critical conditions, such as PTSD or cancer are more binary decisions that may force a doctor's hand. Which raises an issue that's often misinterpreted in the cannabis community. Doctors do NOT prescribe cannabis under medical marijuana programs in the US, rather they diagnose conditions and a specific condition may qualify a patient for a medical marijuana card. While it sounds like a matter of semantics it becomes critically important when thinking about a go-to market and sales strategy.
Why? Because unlike pharmaceuticals, cannabis products are sold by budtenders at dispensaries, not by doctors. If you're invested in a company looking to sell medical marijuana products you'll want to make sure they have a robust program to educate and connect with budtenders to help promote their products.
Well, we're up to 25 states with legal medical marijuana programs! Give yourself a pat on the back if you're an advocate and if you're not make sure to donate some money to MPP or DPA. Without those organizations we wouldn't be talking about news like this.