AKRON, Ohio– Hundreds are expected at the John S. Knight Center in Akron on Saturday for second Ohio Marijuana Expo.
The event will be similar to one held in Cleveland this past January with exhibits from more than 30 cultivators, dispensaries and vendors.
Organizers with Ohio Medical Card said it is an opportunity for visitors to browse related products and ask questions.
“You can’t just walk into a dispensary and get information unless you have fully jumped in and got your approval and you are ready to go. So this allows people who are interested, but not convinced yet, to come and learn more and then make that determination for themselves if its right for them,” said Connor Shore, president of Ohio Medical Card.
With the state’s medical marijuana program now up and running, licensed dispensaries can sell related products to customers with one of 21 different qualifying conditions and a valid physician’s recommendation.
But the industry is still in its infancy in the state and for everyone involved the learning curve is steep.
Amanda Ferdig is the event’s organizer.
“Some people completely know what’s going on and they just like to come and be involved. Some people are starting from the first steps and they don’t know anything about it in the state’ and so we welcome everybody, families. We get children who have patients in their family and in their workplace’ just people who want to know whats going on,” Ferdig said.
Among the items that will not be sold at the marijuana expo is marijuana itself.
“Unfortunately no, we can’t offer anything that’s sold in a dispensary. Those are highly-regulated items and we can’t sell anything with a THC content. We like to encourage people to come and see the things that go with those, which is why the holistic health care is important,” Ferdig said.
Organizers said with all of the questions people in Ohio may still have about medical marijuana, the expo also gives people who may not even want to use it an opportunity to get answers.
“The purpose of this event is to educate the public, let them know that marijuana isn’t as bad as we have been told for 50, 60 years. And this is a real, new, growing, medical field that can help a lot of people and that’s what we are trying to get out there,” Shore said.
His company is planning two more such expos across the state through August.