A small cannabis farm has been approved to operate on Oberlin’s northeast side.
Ascension Biomedical LLC, based in Cleveland, has been awarded a Level II cultivator license by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, according to information made public Friday.
Attorney Fadi Boumitri applied for the grow operation rights in June, paying a $2,000 fee to the state to seek one of 12 Level II licenses. The state’s approval means he can legally cultivate up to 3,000 square feet of marijuana.
The application does not specify where the grow operation would go — but we know that in April the Oberlin planning commission voted to restrict such enterprises to an M-1 light industrial district just north of East Lorain Street. The decision essentially limits pot farming to the industrial park on Artino Street.
Boumitri, a lawyer from Cuyahoga County, was in attendance at the commission meeting and outlined interest in both cultivation and dispensary sites. He said Oberlin was of interest because of its close proximity to Cuyahoga County.
Oberlin city council approved the zoning resolution in early May.
Councilman Kelley Singleton was among those pushing for adoption.
“I knew this was something that was going to happen anyway,” he said Monday in regard to the state’s legalization of medical marijuana. “It can be a great economic benefit to whatever city can get in on the program. It’s going to create jobs and be a good influx of tax revenue that we need. I don’t know the exact number but anything is better than zero.”
Another 12 Level I licenses are expected to be awarded next week, allowing for cultivation sites up to 25,000 square feet.
An Amherst Township site is in consideration for one of the larger licenses. Canadian drug company Aphria and the Schottenstein family of Columbus partnered to apply, paying a $20,000 fee to the state.
House Bill 523, which went into effect Sept. 8, 2016, legalizes medical marijuana in Ohio. The state program is scheduled to go operational by September 2018.
The state pharmacy board is still figuring out how to handle and regulate all aspects of medical marijuana agriculture and sales. Next up is deciding where to put dispensaries.
Lorain, Medina, Wayne, and Holmes counties have been lumped into a single district that will be afforded three sales locations.
With a prescription from a medical doctor, patients will be able to use marijuana to treat the symptoms of HIV, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and a long list of other ailments. Most involve chronic pain or the nervous system.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter. Laurie Hamame contributed to this report.