YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In two weeks, Ohio will start accepting applications for people who want to grow medical marijuana in the state. Only 24 growers will be picked and Youngstown hopes to be included in that number.
Bob Monrean, whose wife is battling cancer, fully supports growing medical marijuana in the city.
“As far as long-term careers for anybody, I think that’s a great plus because I see so many people suffering and just need employment,” he said.
The state will approve 12 applications for large and small growers — up to 25,000 square feet or under 3,000 square feet. The rules are governed by the state, which also collects all the fees.
Mayor John McNally said the City of Youngstown has heard from up to six groups interested in applying to build.
“It’s really, ‘We’re interested in coming here, are you deathly opposed to us?’ Or, ‘Would you be in favor of it?’ As a mayor of a city who’s looking for employment, we are going to support the applications.”
The city has sites available, including the old YBM property along Logan Avenue and the industrial park along Salt Springs Road.
Youngstown would benefit from collecting an income tax, as the large growers are expected to hire hundreds of workers.
“I’m expecting it. As mayor, I’m expecting it and of the groups involved, we have great groups that want to be committed to the City of Youngstown,” McNally said.
He said the groups considering to grow in Youngstown seem to be serious and are backed with large amounts of money.
“I think it’s good use of land and property if it’s something that can aid revenue for the city,” Monrean said.
McNally expects introductory meetings between the groups and city council before they apply.
Monrean is counting down to the day when the first marijuana plants are cut up and ready to be sold.
“Can’t come soon enough for us. Hopefully, we get first on the list to try it,” he said.
There are 21 conditions and diseases that qualify for medical marijuana in Ohio:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
- Parkinson’s disease
- Positive status for HIV
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
The first batch of medical weed will be sold in September of 2018.
Austintown, Columbiana, and Weathersfield Township have said they do not want any grow operations or dispensaries.
More resources and information about the Medical Marijuana Control Program in Ohio are available through the state’s website.