Growing marijuana for medicinal purposes is about to begin in Ohio. A company called Cresco Labs held a groundbreaking event on Thursday in a corn field in Yellow Springs, where the company will build a 50,000 square-foot greenhouse to grow medical marijuana.
The field is next to Antioch University Midwest. Cresco Labs is one of 12 companies licensed by Ohio to grow medical pot on an industrial sale.
“Proud to announce to Ohio that relief has arrived,” Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell said to a supportive crowd during the groundbreaking.
Bachtell praised Ohio’s new medical marijuana program and the small village of Yellow Springs.
“Cresco Labs is incredibly excited to now officially be a member of the Yellow Springs community,” Bachtell said. “You want to make sure that the community that you’re building this building and this enterprise in is supportive of it, that they want it in the community and that they want to be a part of it. It’s important for not only us as an operator, but it’s critical for the success of the program of the state. The state needs this program to be successful. They need the operators to be supported. They need the operators to create jobs within their community and really involve the community in what they’re doing. That’s the only way that people will learn that doing new ways of medical cannabis and having medical cannabis programs are different than what they might have previously thought.”
Yellow Springs Council President Karen Wintrow said she and her neighbors are happy that Cresco Labs will create jobs and pump tax money into the local economy.
“It’s a great fit for Yellow Springs,” Wintrow said. “This community has embraced the opportunity.”
Bachtell hopes that what he calls a modern hybrid-greenhouse will be operational by April.
After two months of marijuana cultivation, the company hopes to make products available to Ohio patients with qualifying conditions by next summer, well ahead of a state-imposed deadline of September.
The first official sale of a medical marijuana product can’t come soon enough for Michael Ferguson.
“Veterans have been needing it, and we finally got it in here,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson, a veteran himself, said he suffers from PTSD and has been self-medicating for several years.
“I would rather be illegally healed than legally dead,” he said.
Ferguson said he uses marijuana to deal with anxiety and depression and said it helps him sleep.
“With cannabis, you can lay down for six hours for such a deep sleep. That’s all you need. And so there are so many benefits,” Ferguson said.
Last year, lawmakers voted to make Ohio the 25th state in the nation where medical marijuana is legal.
Companies like Cresco Labs will work with doctors and patients to explain how marijuana can help with certain conditions