Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
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Large medical marijuana grow sites approved

Cultivation site in Gibsonburg only large facility in northwest Ohio


Gibsonburg will host northwest Ohio’s only large medical marijuana grow site.


GIBSONBURG — Gibsonburg will host northwest Ohio’s only large medical marijuana grow site.

The Ohio Department of Commerce on Thursday announced license approvals for 11 Level I cultivators, which can have grow operations of up to 25,000 square feet. Standard Wellness Company has proposed a cultivation site in the village’s Clearview Industrial Park on the eastern edge of town.

The state earlier in November announced license approvals for 11 Level II cultivators, which can have up to 3,000 square feet of grow space. OhioGrow LLC, which has proposed a cultivation site at 367 E. State Line Rd. in Toledo, was the only cultivator in northwest Ohio approved by the department for Level II licenses.

The commerce department had received 109 Level I applications and 76 Level II applications. House Bill 523, the Ohio law that last year legalized marijuana for medical use only, left it up to state agencies to determine the rules for medical marijuana's cultivation, processing, and sale.

Two of the companies approved for Level II licenses submitted several sites; only one will be approved for those companies. That meant the state could, if it chose, approve an additional Level II license.

The Department of Commerce announced Thursday that it had added a location in Lorain County as its twelfth Level II cultivator.

The state could take a similar action with Level I licenses, as Harvest Grows had two locations approved. 

The licenses are provisional, meaning the companies have nine months to get their businesses operational. They'll need a certificate of operation approved by the state following an inspection.

Marc Glotzbecker, village administrator of Gibsonburg, called the state’s decision a “huge win for the Gibsonburg community and Sandusky County in general.”

“Anytime a new industry moves into an area with jobs and tax revenue, that's a winning situation for everybody,” he said.

Mr. Glotzbecker had previously said the facility would initially bring between 30 and 40 jobs to the village. 

Erik Vaughan, chief executive officer of Standard Wellness, did not return a call Thursday, but he said in June that the company had looked at several sites in the area before settling on Gibsonburg.

A purchase agreement between the village at the company gave an about 20 acre site to Standard Wellness for $1, with an option to purchase an additional about five acres. That option will help keep the cultivation facility from being landlocked, in case of future expansion.

Thomas Rosenberger, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association of Ohio, called the licensing process “long and highly competitive.”

“The applicants who were awarded provisional licenses today have clearly demonstrated that they are among the leaders of this industry, and we look forward to working with them to provide patients safe access to medical marijuana,” he said in a statement.

Brian Wright, executive director of the Ohio Cannabis Association, also expressed excitement about the announcement, but also said he was concerned about delays “caused by the denial of multiple top applicants.”

“Patients have been waiting far too long and in light of extensive delays, it is good to see this process moving forward,” he said in a statement.

For Level II sites, Fire Rock Ltd., can pick one of three spots approved in either Columbus, Canton, or Akron. Ohio Clean Leaf must chose between sites in Dayton and Fairfield County's Carroll.

Other Level II cultivators approved by the state were FN Group Holdings LLC in Portage County's Ravenna, Mother Grows Best LLC in Canton, Ancient Roots LLC in Clinton County's Wilmington, Ascension BioMedical LLC in Oberlin, Agri-Med Ohio LLC in Langsville, Paragon Development Group LLC in Montgomery County's Huber Heights, Hemma LLC in Bulter COunty's Monroe, Galenas LLC in Akron, Farkas Farms LLC in Lorain County's Grafton, as well as the OhioGrow LLC in Toledo.

Joining the Level I site in Gibsonburg is Buckeye Relief LLC in Lake County's Eastlake, Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC in Muskingum County's Newton Township, OPC Cultivation LLC in Erie County's Huron, Riviera Creek Holdings LLC in Youngstown, Pure Ohio Wellness LLC in Clark County's Springfield, Columbia Care OH LLC in Brown County's Mt. Orab, Terradiol Ohio LLC in Canton, AT-CPC of Ohio LLC in Akron, Cresco Labs Ohio LLC in Greene County's Yellow Springs, Parma Wellness Center LLC in Parma, as well as one of two sites for Harvest Grows LLC in either Cleveland or Lawrence County's Hamilton Township.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at nrosenkrans@theblade.com419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

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