Number set for marijuana dispensaries in the Mahoning Valley

by Robin Ann Morris on

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board just released what applications to operate a marijuana dispensary in the state will entail.

The dispensaries give out medical marijuana to patients with prescription cards. Doctors will give those cards to people with any of 21 medical conditions – including HIV, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

It will be at least one year before any dispensary is operational, and there won’t be many places to buy marijuana locally.

Brian Kessler with Riviera Creek, L.L.C., is one of several people interested in cultivating medical marijuana. His company is interested in operating a marijuana grow facility inside an old warehouse near downtown Youngstown.

“Here is an industry that is coming to the state of Ohio. We want to make sure that Youngstown is part of that,” Kessler said. “We have been trying to be active activists to say Youngstown deserves a seat at the table.”

Dispensaries in the state will be broken up into districts. Eighteen will be set up in Northeast Ohio. Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties will share two dispensaries between them. Columbiana will share three dispensaries with Stark, Carroll and Tuscarawas counties. There will be a total of 60 in the state.

“It’s not like there is going to be one of these on every street corner. People come, they purchase their medicine and they go home,” Kessler said.

Competition is tough for the growers. Ohio received nearly 200 applications for 24 spots, and they are not chosen geographically.

Ohio’s program will be run by three different agencies, the Department of Commerce and the medical and pharmacy boards. Each will handle different aspects of the industry.

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Written by: Robin Ann Morris

Founder & CEO at MaryJane Agency, LLC

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