POMEROY, Ohio – A proposal to bring a medical marijuana growing facility to Meigs County could mean much needed jobs if the State of Ohio approves the location.
Ohio Therapeutics, LLC is filing an application for one of those facilities to be located in Meigs County, specifically in Racine, Ohio. The facility would be a 25,000 square feet, an initial $10 million investment and create 40-50 full time jobs paying $15-$16 per hour with full benefits as well as three to four management positions paying $50,000 and up. The facility would be a Level One that would allow for possible future expansion up to 75,000 square feet and more than 100 full time time positions. The medical marijuana grown at the facility would be shipped to another location for processing and distribution. The facility would be for the growing of medical marijuana.
In September 2016, the Ohio legislature passed and Governor Kasich signed Ohio HB 523 legalizing medical marijuana in non-smoking, non-combustible forms. The law authorizes licensing of 12 large cultivation only facilities in the state. The Department of Commerce has set forth an application process for licensing. Companies and communities across Ohio are competing to win one of these sites. Applicants must meet certain financial criteria, have local approval for their proposed site and demonstrate the facility will be secured by fencing, 24-hour surveillance and security alarms, among other requirements. As part of the application, Ohio Therapeutics, LLC will be filing along with their application a non-refundable filing fee of $20,000. The proposed facility in Racine is the only application in Ohio the company is pursuing.
John Haseley addressed the Friday morning Chamber Chatter of the Meigs County Chamber of Commerce. Haseley, from Athens County, said he believes the economic impact on Meigs County of the proposed facility would be transformative as the job potential could grow, especially with possible expansion.
Haseley said the application process is extensive and one of components that is key to having the application accepted is community support for the project.
Racine Village Council unanimously passed a resolution of support for the facility. Sutton Township Trustees also passed a resolution of support for the project according to Haseley. The Meigs County Bar Association also is in support of the application for the facility. Haseley said such support is important for the application process.
Haseley said security would be heavy at the facility with a security team and use of high tech security devices and equipment. The cost of constructing a cultivation facility of scale, that meets all the considerations of quality control for medical cannabis, is substantial. According to Haseley, these are not simple greenhouses. Rather, these high-tech “glass house” structures and support buildings have the strict environmental control and supplemental lighting necessary to ensure lab approved, medical grade cannabis. The cost to relocate such a facility is financially impractical, therefore Ohio Therapeutics will be in Meigs County to stay according to Haseley. He added the company intends to be a good neighbor, supporting local civic activities and efforts to make Racine and Meigs County an even better place to work and live.
It is estimated medical cannabis will become an $800 million dollar industry in Ohio. Comparing to other states that have implemented medicinal programs in the past, it could be expected that Ohio’s medical cannabis industry could employ more than 30,000 people, as well as the associated jobs relating to electrical, construction, and security.