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Michigan working to offer cheaper weed to Ohio's medical marijuana patients


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Vicious sports rivalries aside, Michigan and Ohio may soon be working toward a common goal: providing affordable weed for Ohio's medical marijuana patients.

Though purchasing and consuming medical marijuana in Michigan is legal for Ohioans, traveling with marijuana products across state lines is not. Yet many registered Ohio patients admit to frequently making trips to Michigan dispensaries to buy medical marijuana, citing lower prices — sometimes as much as half of what they are in the Buckeye state, The Detroit Free Press reports.

The reason? Well, officials say that it may take time for Ohio prices to dip, seeing that the state's first medical marijuana dispensaries opened in January 2019, with only four at the time. Meanwhile, Michigan launched its medical marijuana program in 2008 and began legal recreational marijuana sales last December. In the first two months of Michigan's legal recreational sales, more than 40 retail shops received their recreational licenses.

As a result, Michigan and Ohio are now early in the process of fleshing out an agreement that would allow Ohio cardholders to cross state lines to purchase weed and to bring it back home.

When Ohio first approved its medical marijuana program, patients were given a letter that allowed a 60-day window during which they could legally travel with their Michigan-bought haul across state lines, but advocates say the timeline of eligibility was confusing for patients.

It's not just the cost of the herb itself that poses a financial challenge for Ohio patients, but the medical marijuana registration process comes with a $125-$150 price tag, too. Once approved, some patients have said they pay $50 for less than 3 grams of dry flower. Meanwhile, in Michigan, it's not uncommon for medical and recreational shops to offer a range of $30-$45 eighths, which equals 3.5 grams of product.

Research conducted by Michigan State University estimates that out-of-state buyers make up 9% of the state's legal sales, mostly from Indiana and Ohio.

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