Currently, Ohio has a dispensary shortage while demand for medical cannabis skyrockets. As more of the 56 approved Ohio dispensaries expand into the southern counties and prepare to open for business, patients are losing their patience with the multitude of setbacks and delays that keep them from obtaining their medication.

THINGS GET A LITTLE MAD FOR MAD RIVER

The first Dayton-area medical cannabis dispensary to open in Montgomery County, Mad River Remedies is currently in “soft opening stage” as they are working to build out their physical store and online presence. In addition to other setbacks, the dispensary became embroiled in drama that originated Monday, June 24. The altercation occurred between what appeared to be a Mad River Remedies official company Facebook page representative and several Ohio medical cannabis patients.

Someone posing as the official representative of the dispensary claimed on the Facebook page that they could collect the names of patients who complained about the dispensary and revoke their medical cards. In response, a number of medical cannabis patients responded and called for a boycott of the facility. A screenshot of the conversation is below for reference:

PHARMACY BOARD REASSURES PATIENTS

MedicateOH spoke with Grant Miller, our contact at The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy (the governing body of the Medical Marijuana Control Program that regulates the dispensaries), to inquire if dispensaries had such authority. “They do not have the power whatsoever,” confirmed Miller. “The Board of Pharmacy can take disciplinary action through an investigation to suspend a license; but no dispensary can, say, ‘revoke this person’s card.'”

Miller reported that the Facebook page appeared to be a hoax designed by an unknown third party to maliciously attack the dispensary. He went into more detail about how The Board of Pharmacy came to be aware of the situation: “We were alerted to this issue immediately, and our compliance team followed up. The dispensary claimed this was not a page ran [sic] by them, though they are allowed to run a Facebook page upon approval of logos, etc.” Miller explained. “The Facebook page in question featured a logo with [a] marijuana leaf; we would never approve that. If patients are in question about legitimate online profiles for dispensaries, we are happy to confirm.”

A (real) representative from Mad River Remedies spoke to MedicateOH, but asked to remain anonymous due to the nature of the controversy. The dispensary said they were unaware of anyone who would have created the fake Facebook page, and they are not looking to find out. “We don’t need to know who it is; we just know it happened,” the source said.

“The Facebook page in question featured a logo with [a] marijuana leaf; we would never approve that. If patients are in question about legitimate online profiles for dispensaries, we are happy to confirm.”

-Grant Miller, The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

By sharing this information, the Board of Pharmacy said they hope that patients can relax knowing that dispensaries do not have the power to revoke any medical cards. The Board recommends all patients keep an open line of communication with them.

MAD RIVER FILLS NEED AS DAYTON DESOLATE OF DISPENSARIES

Until Mad River Remedies opened its doors towards the end of May at 5604 Airway Road in Riverside, patients in Dayton often traveled more than a three-hour drive from their homes to access dispensaries in other parts of the state. The location is just five miles from downtown Dayton, finally giving quick access to patients located in surrounding communities including Huber Heights, Vandalia, Northridge and Trotwood.

Now in its “soft opening stage” Mad River Remedies is equipped and licensed to dispense medicine, although they have yet to build an online presence, which may be a reason they were left vulnerable to the Facebook attack.

MedicateOH’s contact at Mad River Remedies explained: “We are in our infant stages; for us it’s not about money, it’s about helping our patients get the best medicine.” Currently, Mad River Remedies does not have an operational website with its menu and pricing available, but will be launching one following their grand opening. The dispensary is planning a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony event in mid-July in coordination with the city of Riverside.

Alex Perry is a creative-minded story-telling specialist who supports the cannabis industry through journalism, digital marketing and patient advocacy. She currently works with bridal, beauty, technology and cannabis brands in her PR agency, Perry Rose Media. Her previous experience includes newsroom writing for Cox Media Group, production copywriting for Zulily and QVC, and numerous publicity campaigns for independent bridal designers.