Dayton medical marijuana grower may employ up to 20 people to start

City officials were not aware the state was going to approve large-scale grow operation.

A major medical marijuana growing operation will open a large-scale facility in Dayton, a development that may come as a surprise to everyone except the company itself.

Certified Cultivators at 1654 Springfield St. in Dayton was originally denied a license to grow marijuana. But, because of a court case, it ended up being one of two growers awarded a provisional Level 1 license Thursday afternoon by the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Local leaders weren’t expecting a large-scale cultivator to open in the city, but they have no concerns about another growing operation putting down roots in Dayton, said Keith Klein, senior development specialist for the City of Dayton.

» RELATED: Legal medical marijuana may be available in Ohio next month

If it moves forward, Certified Cultivators would be the fourth medical marijuana business set to open in Dayton, Klein said.

“It was a surprise to us,” Klein said. “But, we are very excited to find out there’s another business potentially moving forward.”

With a Level 1 license, Certified Cultivators in Dayton will be able to have up to 25,000 square feet of growing space. Michael Weprin is the chief executive officer of Certified Cultivators and Jeffery Bobier is the chief financial officer, the Ohio medical marijuana control program.

Certified Cultivators plans to hire around 10 to 20 people and could expand later on, said Scott Miller, director of operations.

Though Certified Cultivators was originally denied a license, the organization is still prepared to launch operations soon, Miller said. The company originally applied for a license in early 2017 and Miller said it has been putting together a team of workers and leaders since then.

“We’ve got a close-knit team that’s ready to get going,” Miller said.

Greanleaf Gardens in Middlefield was also awarded a provisional license as a result of PharmaCannLLC v. Ohio Department of Commerce. The court struck down a provision of the law that required a portion of cultivator licenses to be awarded to economically disadvantaged businesses, said Kerry Francis, spokeswoman for the state commerce department.

A medical marijuana law, House Bill 523, was passed and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich in 2016.

The law authorized medical marijuana use by patients with 21 conditions, including cancer or chronic pain, in the form of edibles, oils, patches and vaporizing. Patients and their caregivers will be allowed to possess up to a 90-day supply. Smoking or home growing is barred.

Only doctors with a special certification will be allowed to recommend marijuana to patients when the drug becomes available in Ohio.

“We’re happy to have been awarded a license,” Miller said. “We understand it’s a big step, and we’re excited to bring medical marijuana to this community and have a positive impact.”

Certified Cultivators won’t be the only growing operation in the Dayton area.

» RELATED: Ohio medical marijuana: Everything you need to know

Springfield will be home to a cultivator with a Level 1 license. Pure Ohio Wellness LLC at 4020 Dayton-Springfield Road in Mad River Twp, will occupy a location previously used as storage for “I-Supply products,” according to county zoning records.

The Springfield-based cultivator was planning to employ 20 people at first before possibly expanding to up to 50 employees, Larry Pegram, part-owner of Pure Ohio Wellness said in July.

Another operation, Ohio Clean Leaf LLC at 2046 Valley St. in Dayton, was previously awarded a Level 2 cultivator license, according to the state. Paragon Development Group was also given a Level 2 license for a facility at 6212 Executive Boulevard in Huber Heights.

Level 2 cultivator licenses allow businesses to have up to 3,000-square-feet of growing space.

The Dayton-Springfield-Cincinnati region will get 12 medical marijuana stores, according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

The Board of Pharmacy in September announced it would award 56 dispensary licenses out of 376 applications statewide. Locally, the stores will open in Montgomery, Greene, Butler, Warren, Clark and Hamilton counties.


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