Wellspring Fields’ Level 2 medical marijuana growing facility in Ravenna recently became the first medical marijuana growing facility in Ohio to receive the required state licensing to start growing.
Buckeye Relief’s facility currently under construction at 33525 Curtis Blvd. in Eastlake is set to become the second licensed medical marijuana producer but the first with a Level 1 license.
The difference between the two licenses is the amount of growing space the company is allowed. Wellspring Fields has 3,000 square feet of growing space, while Buckeye Relief has 25,000 square feet.
The company, which will complete the construction of the new facility sometime in mid-July, has their state inspections scheduled for the end of July. According to Buckeye Relief owner Andy Rayburn, the business is on track to be ready for that inspection.
“With these inspections, the time can be quick between the inspection and issuance of certificate of operation, or it can be slow,” Rayburn said. “We are hoping that ours will be pretty quick. We have been communicating thoroughly with the Department of Commerce and we are on top of all the details and we don’t expect to present any changes. That should drive a fast inspection.”
Level 2 inspections go a little quicker than those at Level 1, which are substantially more intricate, Rayburn said.
Buckeye Relief has been making progress in hiring employees with about 20 currently on the payroll.
“I’m still solid on the original 30 to 50 employees which is cultivation based and, that’s by the end of the year,” Rayburn said. “We are going to be hiring a little bit by little bit on a monthly basis with a bigger push when we get to harvest .”
Harvest is anticipated to occur sometime in November or December, depending on how the licensing goes.
An additional 10 to 20 employees will be hired between now and the end of the year for cultivation.
The company is also awaiting word on the extraction license they applied for and, according to Rayburn, they hope to have that before the facility opens. That license will mean the hiring of approximately 10 additional employees.
“We have one person hired so far on that side (extraction) of the business and the timing of those additional jobs will also be towards year end,” Rayburn said.
The reasoning behind the end-of-year hiring for the extraction employees is due to the need to install, set up and test the extraction equipment after receiving the required license.
“With the exception of a few thing we are almost ready to plant,” Rayburn said. “The plants will go in the day after we receive the license. I’m eager to actually get in the business and start functioning.”