YELLOW SPRINGS — Cresco Labs broke ground on the first Ohio medical marijuana facility Dec. 14 in Yellow Springs.
The facility will “grow and harvest condition-specific strains of medical marijuana that will be available in dispensaries to physician-certified patients across the state,” according to a press release by Cresco Labs. The medical marijuana company, which includes three facilities in Illinois, was just awarded a level 1 cultivation license two weeks ago from the Ohio Department of Commerce.
Cresco Labs CEO Charles Bachtell said the 50,000 square-foot facility, located on the 900 block of Dayton Street, will be built within the next four months, followed by “a couple months” of cultivation. Products are expected to be available by June 2018.
“At the end of the day, this program exists specifically for one purpose, and it’s to bring a new type of medicine to patients in the State of Ohio,” Bachtell said.
The company started evaluating Ohio sites approximately one year ago, according to Bachtell, and found Yellow Springs to be “perfect for the project” because the village “wanted to be part of the project,” he said.
“Community engagement and community involvement is incredibly important when you talk about this subject matter,” Bachtell said. “You want to make sure that the community you’re building this [facility] and enterprise in is supportive and that they want it in their community and that they want to be a part of it. It’s important not only for us as an operator, but for the success of this program in the state.”
The facility will bring employment to the community. Bachtell said Cresco Labs has been meeting with village officials to create a workforce development plan and would consider working with local colleges in Yellow Springs to hire as the company has done in Illinois.
Bachtell said it benefits both the students and company as students are able to work in a field related to their area of study and the company is able to hire educated individuals.
“The future of medical cannabis is very professional,” he said. “It’s structured, regulated, compliance-focused and community integrated and that’s what we’re going to build here in Yellow Springs for the benefit of patients in Ohio.”
According to medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov, medical marijuana in Ohio is able to treat AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or other seizure disorders, Fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic and severe or intractable pain, Parkinson’s disease, HIV-positive status, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury and ulcerative colitis.
“Yellow Springs was founded on the concept of wellness,” Village Council President Karen Wintrow said. “People came to the yellow spring for the healing waters. We’ve always had a vision of wellness here so having a product like Cresco is going to produce here is perfect for us.”
Bachtell highlighted that Cresco Labs will not be impacted by the possibility of recreational use of marijuana finding a spot on a future election ballot because the company is solely focused on medical use.
The company has additionally applied for a dispensary license and plans to apply for a processing license. Through which, Cresco Labs will be enabled to produce pharmaceutical-grade oral sprays, sublingual and digestible tablets, trans-dermal patches and other forms of cannabis oil, according to the press release. Doing so will allow the products to give consistent and controlled “dosage consumption methods.”
“With that, we’re proud to announce to Ohio that relief has arrived,” Bachtell said.
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.