COLUMBIA TWP., Ohio — The first medical marijuana dispensary in the Interstate 275-loop opened its doors Wednesday morning in Columbia Township.
Verilife, a medical marijuana dispensary company owned by the Illinois-based Pharmacann, opened the dispensary at 5134 Ridge Ave. between Pleasant Ridge and Oakley Wednesday at 11 a.m.
"We are looking forward to meeting the medical cannabis needs of Ohio's patients seeking relief," said Chaz Mize, general manager of the Cincinnati Verilife dispensary.
The dispensary offers a wide range of medical marijuana products for the medical needs of people in Cincinnati.
"Whether it's tinctures for the senior citizen with cancer receiving chemotherapy, or vaporizers for the patient with chronic pain, we want to ensure our patients are empowered to find what works to meaningfully improve their lives," said Mize.
Patient consultation rooms and access to patient care representatives are also available at the dispensary.
About Wellness, located in a strip mall at 1525 Genntown Dr. in Lebanon, Ohio, was the first of seven medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Greater Cincinnati.
“We believe there are folks that don't have dispensaries close to them," Mize said. "And then we believe that there are a considerable number of people here in the Cincinnati market that just haven't had the opportunity to use their card yet."
Michael Harris, a medical marijuana patient living in Hamilton County, said Verilife's new location is about 30 miles closer to his home than the Lebanon dispensary.
"I have chronic pain in my legs, in my shoulder and in my back," Harris said. "I have a herniated disc."
He said medical marijuana doesn't make his pain go away, but it makes it manageable, so he can live his life. He said living closer to a more accessible dispensary has made a big difference for him.
Ryan Hoover, another medical marijuana patient, said he uses medical marijuana to treat his PTSD, Crohn's Disease and IBS. He's tried different prescription drugs over the years, but said nothing has worked for him as well as medical marijuana.
"Medicines, some of them work," he said. "But it’s just a matter of time before they stop working or you catch a lot of the side effects from it. I don’t like taking pills so this is really going to help me.”
Medical marijuana is not a prescription, but the state of Ohio allows certified physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients with certain medical conditions. Patients are provided a card, not a prescription to fill, and can purchase it from state-certified dispensaries.
Butler County could also see its first dispensary soon. Bloom Medicinals said it plans to open a dispensary in Seven Mile before the end of the month.