Local medical marijuana grower steps forward after years of limbo

The owner anticipates around 15 new jobs at the Miami County cultivation site.

The owner of a planned medical marijuana cultivation facility is taking steps forward in Miami County after several years stuck in regulatory limbo.

Jason Wilson, who owns Paragon Development Group LLC, said initial work should start soon at the site, where there’s already an existing building at 9292 S. State Route 201 in Bethel Twp., near Tipp City.

“The construction crew will be there on Monday and they’re telling me 95 days,” Wilson said Friday, April 30.

He said once the construction is complete and after an inspection, he anticipates getting a certificate of operation “and then we’re up and running.”

Mike Arnold, head of planning and zoning for Bethel Twp. said the site is already zoned appropriately for the use. He said last month the company went to the township asking for parking variances.

The Dayton Daily News previously reported that Wilson was in regulatory limbo, because he had a provisional business license to grow and approval to build a grow facility in Huber Heights, but then in January 2018 Huber Heights council put a moratorium on marijuana businesses.

The catch that created was that state law prohibited a licensed cultivator from changing locations until after it had a certificate of operation, meaning Paragon had to build the facility first; but the company couldn’t even get a building permit because of the city moratorium.

At the time, Wilson was waiting on a fix from state regulators, but he said he has since been approved for a variance.

“It took two years and three days to get that legal language and we just now got everything situated where we’ve got our blueprint drawings. And then COVID hit. We’ve finally got our feet on the ground,” he said.

He anticipates they will hire around 15 people and start taking applications in the summer.

A building permit application filed with Bethel Twp. March 23 sought approval for an estimated $1 million of construction work, though the total cost of a project is typically higher than the building permit. Wilson said he estimates the company will spend just under $2 million cash to build out the facility.

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