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Updated 06/09/2022 | How much is an Ohio Dispensary License Worth? The short answer is $3M-$15M on average. This article will discuss Ohio Dispensary License’s valuation based on the most recent Ohio medical cannabis dispensary licenses awarded from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

January 27, 2022, marks the first time Ohio chose to select winning applicants via a lottery system. Two hundred thirty companies submitted 1,462 applications in 31 districts across the state. Seventy-three licenses will be awarded, adding to the 58 awarded in 2017. In total, 131 medical dispensary licenses are in Ohio.

Ohio Dispensary License Worth


To derive my valuation prediction, I used six unique areas I believe weighed the most on my range. They are as follows: 

Valuation Criteria

Comparable Sales

My first inclination was to figure out what other dispensaries sold in Ohio for. Here is a list of recent Ohio dispensary acquisitions:

  • 12/2021 – Ascend acquires Ohio Cannabis Clinic (two dispensaries) for an undisclosed amount;
  • 9/2020 – Clubhouse sold to Mind and Body for $3.1M; and
  • 5/2020 – Verdant sold four dispensaries to Cresco for an undisclosed amount

This information tells us that major players, multi-state operators, are positioning for the Ohio market. The fact that some of these deals remain undisclosed tells me that they paid more than they would like the public to know.


The population of the municipality and proximity to the next dispensary play a huge part in the valuation. To that end, the higher the expected patient population the higher the revenue in the short term. Since adult-use is right around the corner, licenses in major metropolitan areas retain more value when the adult-use program is approved. Outliers include a market like Toledo, a high patient population but experienced lower sales numbers due to adult use in Michigan. 

The Future of Recreational (Adult-Use) Increases Ohio Dispensary License Worth

One of the biggest drivers increasing the valuation of these licenses is the near-miss of recreational cannabis in the state through the ballot initiative. In other words, ballot initiative states allow residents to get an initiative on the ballot by the collection of signatures. With enough signatures, recreational cannabis will appear on the next ballot. The state will then pave the way for adult-use cannabis laws.

Scarcity of Sellers Increases Ohio Dispensary License Worth

In my opinion, most new owners are out-of-state operators. New license holders already know the multiplier of the license worth upon completion of operational buildout. In other words, fewer sellers and more operators are winning these new licenses.  If you review the list of 73 winners, our analysis indicates that 16 of the 230 companies submitted more than 10 applications, the majority of these winners are not selling. This increases the Ohio Dispensary License Worth. Less inventory (lower supply) drives up demand = higher valuation. 

Liabilities and Debt of Seller Lowers Ohio Dispensary License Worth

Believe it or not, the seller could have incurred a ton of debt during the submission phase, if that debt is transferred to the new buyer the value goes down. To increase the chances of winning, applicants had to secure multiple pieces of real estate. Not to mention, the lease rate on the building could have included the “green tax”, in reference to the increase of pricing for those companies in the cannabis industry due to the perceived value of profits the businesses generate.

280E’s Impact on Ohio Dispensary License Valuation

“Section 280E is a federal statute that bars any business, or portion of its business, engaged in trafficking a Schedule I or II controlled substance (such as cannabis) from deducting non-COGS related deductions or credits for federal tax purposes.” Source

What qualifies as COGS is a pretty limited list:

  • The purchase cost of the cannabis itself.
  • Transportation costs related to the product.
  • Electricity costs for your storage areas.

A $10k-$20k a month triple net lease could lower the valuation drastically unless it’s prime real estate in a top-tier metropolitan area. Due to tax code 280E, the cost of goods sold rent expense does not comply as a write-off. If the applicant has a high rent passed on to the new owner, that will decrease the value of the license.

Transferability of License Increases Ohio Dispensary License Worth 

Another big factor in the cannabis M&A game is the transferability of the actual license. Some states require a percentage of ownership to remain in Ohio native hands. In Ohio, this is not the case. The rules for transfer are outlined in Rule 3796:6-2-12 of the Ohio Administrative Code. In short, a license can transfer after 12 full months of operations. In other words, 12 months from the date of the issuance of the operational license. Therefore, here is the form you must fill out to transfer an Ohio dispensary license: Ohio Medical Dispensary Transfer of Ownership Form.

So, how are companies acquiring Ohio medical dispensary licenses? There are several models that are common in cannabis acquisitions, to learn more contact a Quantum 9 expert for advice. These are tricky waters to navigate, especially since Ohio required applicants to identify their sources of the capital early.


In conclusion, if you are looking to sell your Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensary, please reach out to Quantum 9 at subject line “Ohio Dispensary for Sale”.

Ohio Dispensary License Worth

Michael Mayes

Author Michael Mayes

Quantum 9, Inc. is a Chicago, IL-based cannabis consulting firm. We specialize in getting high net worth individuals and private equity cannabis business licenses to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense marijuana. We have over 50 marijuana consultants that work for the company, and we have practiced in 12 countries. Our areas of expertise include permit acquisition, team building, employee training planning, and process planning. We help clients fully maximize the potential of any cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary business.

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