Village of Johnstown embraces idea of medical marijuana

FILE – This Oct. 29, 2009, file photo shows trays of marijuana clones and gardening supplies underneath grow lights at the Peace in Medicine dispensary in Sebastopol, Calif. (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels, File)

JOHNSTOWN, OH (WCMH) — The Village of Johnstown is only months away from being one of the first towns in Ohio to operate a medical marijuana cultivation park.

While some communities oppose the idea of growing medical cannabis, the village decided to embrace it.

Now it’s a waiting game to see how many businesses will set up shop in its industrial park.  Johnstown hopes to make an industrial park the home of potential medical marijuana businesses. There are multiple businesses bidding to grow on the land. The village said this is a perfect opportunity for economic development.

“I think we have about six properties in contract,” said Johnstown village manager Jim Lenner. “Depending on the application and how well they do on the scoring rubric at the state level we could end up with six cultivators in the village.”

Lenner says there is an opportunity for more businesses to grow in the park.

Last month, the state began accepting applications to allow 24 businesses to grow and cultivate medical marijuana.

The law allows level one growers to grow up to 25,000 square feet of plants. Level two growers can cultivate up to 3000 square feet. It is up to the state to decide who will grow where.

Andy Joseph, president of Apexs Supercritical, manufactures equipment used to extract or oils for marijuana. He hopes to be one of the businesses to produce, cultivate and dispense medical cannabis in the state

“We don’t have an opportunity to experiment or test our equipment on the product that’s being used by most of our customers which is cannabis,” said Joseph.

You attract businesses, the village has decided to charge growers a one-percent sales tax, competing with surrounding communities taxing at 2-percent.

“This is medicine for patients and we shouldn’t make patients pay for potholes,” says Joseph.

Medical marijuana is expected to be available to patients by September 2018

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