Ohio's been in the medical marijuana industry six years now and during that time business was thriving. However, that progress has recently been slowing down, so it's becoming more of a concern for businesses in the industry.

Back in 2019, total medical marijuana sales were $56 million and that's increased over the years to $1.1 billion.

Every year, the rate at which these numbers are increasing is slower and officials contribute that to what they're calling a, "patient population plateau."

"We're at 160 thousand patients now, that stands about where it was last summer," said Matt Close, Executive Director for the Ohio Medical Cannabis Industry Association. "So the patient population has leveled out," he said.

Close says cannabis is not covered by insurance, so the hundreds of dollars it would cost annually is part of the reason patients are falling off. Not to mention, hurdles Close says businesses are running into when it comes to advertising.

"There is a process here in Ohio that you have to go through and I think a lot of that is intimidating," said Close. "The rules in Ohio are very restrictive in terms of what it is that my membership can say or anybody else in the industry can say," he said.

Senate Bill 9 also posing an issue for businesses in the industry. The bill would make the process to obtain a license easier, but some companies are in strong opposition.

"There's already an over supply, why bring more growth space into the equation when there is plenty right now," said Close. "There's really no increase needed to increase growth space or licensure when you have a limited control population base," he said.

Close believes the competition would further exacerbate the issue and he tells 21 News businesses will then have to start closing their doors.