COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Hundreds of companies are interested in opening up medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio.

A list of those who applied for dispensary licenses recently released by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy shows there are 20 times as many applicants as there are available licenses.

“It definitely doesn’t surprise me. I know there’s a huge demand for it. I think it could completely blow up in this area,” said Heather Bigler.

The Dublin resident began using medical marijuana two years ago, after several years of other treatments for pain and mental health issues connected to a 2015 car crash.

“I actually flipped my car four times and was ejected. So [with] all of my bodily injuries, plus PTSD, I was able to get my card,” she explained. “Before, I had to rely pretty heavily on physical therapy, opiates, Tylenol, Ibuprofen. When you have the marijuana, you don’t really have to rely on prescription medication anymore.”

Bigler believes medical marijuana is becoming less taboo and said her medical team supports the treatment. 

The number of interested dispensary applicants also suggests the industry is taking off in Ohio. Because of growing patient demand, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program plans to more than double the number of dispensaries in the state, from 57 to 130. 1,462 entities have applied for the 73 new available licenses.

Franklin County will add nine new dispensaries to its existing six. 120 applicants are vying for the licenses.

Bigler, who currently lives within driving distance of 3 dispensaries, hopes the climbing demand from both patients and applicants will help drive accessibility and convenience.

“Being able to go to [a dispensary], kind of like you can go to a gas station or a pharmacy, would be amazing,” she said.

In January, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy will begin verifying the applications and then put all eligible applicants into a lottery for each district to determine who receives a license.

You can find the full list of applicants and the addresses of the proposed dispensaries by clicking on this link.