Thursday, April 25, 2019

2 companies will pitch efforts to sell medical marijuana in Youngstown

Published: 10/14/17 @ 12:07

By David Skolnick


Two companies will discuss plans Monday to seek licenses to sell medical marijuana in the city.

The groups will make presentations at a 5 p.m. city council meeting on the sixth floor of city hall.

City officials don’t play a role in deciding if any of the groups will be issued a license. That decision will be made by state officials.

“Council wants to hear from these groups, and the groups are interested in outlining their plans,” said Mayor John A. McNally.

There are only two medical marijuana dispensary licenses available in all of Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties. Those wanting to apply for the licenses have until Nov. 17 to do so.

Medical marijuana will be made available to purchase by those with 21 different medical conditions by September 2018.

Holistic Health Partners LLC is one of the companies making a presentation to city council.

“We feel because this is going to be legal there should be a medical professional overseeing it,” said A.J. Caraballo, a pharmacist from Boardman and Holistic partner.

Holistic has signed a lease contingent on getting a license from the state for a location at 3321 Mahoning Ave., a former bank building in the Mahoning Plaza, Caraballo said.

On Tuesday, Holistic officials will be seeking a waiver to establish the medical marijuana dispensary from the city’s planning commission at 1:50 p.m.

The other company scheduled to make a proposal Monday to city council has declined to release its name and officials until Monday’s meeting in front of council.

“I’m representing an operator interested in dispensing marijuana in Youngstown, and we’ll have a presentation,” said Jillian Hanes, director of government relations for JB Hamlin & Co., a Columbus-based government relations and lobbying firm.

The company isn’t based in the Mahoning Valley and operates marijuana dispensaries in other states, Hanes said. The company is “possibly” looking at other locations in Ohio to sell medical marijuana, she said.

“On Monday, we’ll discuss what our plans are, what they’ve done in the past and the overall idea for what to do in Youngstown,” Hanes said.

The unnamed company should have an option by Monday to buy land for its dispensary should it receive a state license, she said.

In May, five groups gave proposals to city council to grow medical marijuana in Youngstown. Ohio hasn’t awarded licenses to grow yet.

The law permits 12 Level 1 growers statewide for up to 25,000 square feet of growing space with a potential expansion up to 75,000 square feet, and 12 Level 2 growers in Ohio to cultivate up to 3,000 square feet. Of the five that made proposals, four of them are seeking to be Level 1 growers and one wants to be a Level 2 grower.

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