TOLEDO (WTOL) - It’s a historic day in Ohio, Wednesday marks the first legal sale of medical marijuana in the Buckeye State.
Ynez Henningsen, made the first legal purchase at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning at The Forest in Sandusky to help deal with her multiple sclerosis, but dozens of others joined behind her, even a few Toledoans made the drive to get their medicine.
Several patients waited outside The Forest in the cold for the first day of legal medical marijuana sales here in Ohio. Patients said they were excited about what it meant for their lives.
“The patients that have been waiting decades in Ohio for access to this medicine legally,” said Jeff McCourt, CEO of Firelands Scientific, a level one cultivator. “It’s an incredibly monumental day.”
Samantha Mantz came from Beavercreek and waited in line before the sun even rose to make her first purchase. She truly believes medical marijuana will be the answer to her chronic pain.
“It means a second chance with my family to work on relationships. Chronic pain damages -- it damages relationships,” said Mantz. “I’m hopeful. My son gets his mom back.”
After much delay, Wednesday was a day medical marijuana patients say they’ve been waiting for here in Ohio.
“To know that now it’s available here for me is just, it’s been really good,” said Chris McCourt, a medical marijuana patient.
“I was here to be a part of history,” said Tom, a west Toledo man who made the trip for the first day of legal medical marijuana sale.
"Finally, I'll be able to have my medicine and get it legally," said Dennis Lehman, a Toledo Medical Marijuana patient.
The Forest Sandusky is one of just four dispensaries to open in Ohio Wednesday. To start, they are only selling flowers for vaporization, but do expect to sell infused products like oils, capsules, edibles and more later in the spring.
“It’s the best expression or the truest expression of the plant because it literally it is the plant,” said Jeff McCourt, a level one cultivator with Firelands Scientific. “Consuming that through the herbal vaporizer method that’s permitted by Ohio is really one of the best ways to determine the efficacy of this for each individual patient.”
The Forest sells a number of different strains of marijuana. Patients receive a one-on-one consultation to find the best fit for them.
“We’re really interested in trying to understand the patient’s condition the symptoms they are trying to relieve,” said Kara Lambert, director of marketing with The Forest. “We try to make it as comfortable a process as possible and provide as much education as possible.”
In Ohio, there are 21 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana from chronic pain, to PTSD, cancer and more.
Dennis Lehman is from Toledo and waited in line for hours to get his medical marijuana to deal with his neuropathy.
“It’s definitely a game changer,” said Lehman. “Especially at night when I am trying go to bed and I have that pain when I am laying down it helps me to relax and go to sleep, relaxes that pain.”
Patients must register with the state, have their medical marijuana card and an I.D. before they can even be run through The Forest’s system and make it to their sales floor.
For Dennis, it was well worth it.
“It makes it livable, it’s bearable,” said Dennis Lehman. “I mean it doesn’t take it all 100 percent away, but it makes it worth it and it helps.”
The Forest says they are doing their best to make sure their shelves remain stocked as the demand is high, but they look forward to serving patients from here on out.