Giant medical marijuana farm planned for Wilmington

Investors with ties to the 2015 failed ballot issue to legalize marijuana are rolling out an ambitious plan for a “cannabis campus” on 19 acres in Wilmington.

CannAscend Ohio LLC is a new venture backed by Ian James and Jimmy Gould, who ran the ResponsibleOhio campaign, and Bill Brisben, a real estate developer and former ambassador to UNICEF.

Related: ResponsibleOhio admits mistakes in marijuana campaign

The group signed an option to buy 19 acres in Clinton County for a medical marijuana growing operation. The land deal is contingent on CannAscend being awarded one of the 12 large cultivator licenses from the state of Ohio later this year, Gould said.

State regulators are expected to approve cultivator rules by May 6. The license application process is expected to follow. Cultivators will be required to be ready to grow within nine months of getting their initial licenses.

The facility will start out as a 25,000-square-foot indoor growing farm but CannAscend plans to expand it to 50,000-square-feet and then later 75,000-square-feet and add processing and research centers, Gould said. The operation, which will employ about 220, will be about a $45 million investment all told, he said.

Related: Ohio to license 18 medical marijuana growers

Related: Would you pay $50 a year to use medical marijuana in Ohio?

Regulation is being handled by the Ohio Department of Commerce, State Medical Board of Ohio and the Ohio Pharmacy Board.


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