COLUMBUS - Ohio awarded 12 businesses the rights to grow medical marijuana at large farms statewide.
The locations include:
- Harvest Grows LLC (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
- Parma Wellness Center LLC (Parma, Cuyahoga County)
- AT-CPC of Ohio LLC (Akron, Summit County)
- Terradiol Ohio LLC (Canton, Stark County)
- Buckeye Relief LLC (Eastlake, Lake County)
- Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC (Newton Township, Muskingum County)
- OPC Cultivation LLC (Huron, Erie County)
- Riviera Creek Holdings LLC (Youngstown, Mahoning County)
- Pure Ohio Wellness LLC (Springfield, Clark County)
- Columbia Care OH LLC (Mt. Orab, Brown County)
- Standard Wellness Company LLC (Gibsonburg, Sandusky County)
- Cresco Labs Ohio LLC (Yellow Springs, Greene County)
- Harvest Grows LLC (Hamilton Township, Lawrence County)
12 businesses were picked from 109 applicants to run Ohio's large marijuana farms. These cultivators can build spaces up to 25,000 square feet.
Among the locations listed, the former site of Akron's sewer maintenance building on Home Ave. is expected to be one of the sites for the large marijuana farms. Across the street, another location, announced last month, is expected to house a smaller medical marijuana grow site. The site on 1076 Home Ave. will be operated by Fire Rock Ltd.
Ellen Lander Nischt, press secretary for the city of Akron, said the city believes "these entities will be a beneficial addition to the community."
Nischt said the facilities that have been approved, three in Akron, will be allowed to cultivate medical marijuana, but "will not directly sell or distribute any products." She noted that the state has not been approved for a medical dispensary at this point.
The competition was high for the spots, which guarantee a piece of the new industry's profits.
Ohio officials were under pressure to get the selection right. Ohio voters firmly rejected a ballot initiative that allowed businesses to pick their own locations to grow marijuana.
Aware of that scrutiny, Ohio Department of Commerce selected three companies – iCann Consulting, B&B Grow Solutions and Meade & Wing – to score marijuana farms based on business plans, quality assurance, security and finances. The names of applicants were withheld from the scorers to ensure the selection was fair and unbiased.
Some of Ohio's top political consultants submitted applications, including former Ohio Republican Party Chariman Matt Borges. Borges, now a lobbyist, said he assisted Blu Script LLC, a would-be Cincinnati-area grower, with its application but has no financial stake in the company. Blu Script was not awarded a farm.
The Greater Cincinnati area had been awarded one marijuana farm: Hemma LLC in Monroe. That smaller facility will be located on Edison Drive near Rivertown Brewery & Barrell House in Butler County.
Ohio passed its medical pot law last year. Ohio-grown marijuana for eligible medical conditions should be available by September 2018. Until then, patients can seek marijuana from other states where the drug is legal.