A harvester examines marijuana buds from a trimming machine near Corvallis, Oregon. Researchers complain the government marijuana consists of leaves and unsmokable stems. ANDREW SELSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ohio-based retailer partnering with Canadian medical marijuana company

Officials from a Canadian medical marijuana company say they partnered with a Columbus family known for fashion retailers American Eagle and DSW — as well as an Ohio State University sports arena — to help score some home turf advantage as they hope to grow, process and sell medical marijuana in Ohio.

Schottenstein Aphria LLC is one of 185 companies seeking one of two dozen licenses the state will award for entities looking to become medical marijuana cultivators in Ohio. They are seeking a license to grow initially up to 25,000-square-feet of medical marijuana.

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Aphria co-founder Cole Cacciavillani said in an interview this week the company — if granted a license in Ohio — would operate under the newly formed business Liberty Health Science, which went live today on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

“I don’t think you could’ve found a better partner than the Schottenstein family in Ohio,” he said.

He said they hope to put their indoor growing facility outside of Amherst in Lorain County to be close to their Canadian operations.

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Cacciavillani said his company — which operates in Canada and Florida, and is setting up operations in Arizona — partnered with the Schottenstein family because of its knowledge of the retail industry and familiarity with the Ohio market.

“Combined, we could be a really strong entity,” he said.

Messages left for a spokesman of the Schottenstein Store Corporation were not returned.

Aphria is one of several major players in the North American medical marijuana market looking to stake a claim in Ohio, where nearly a quarter of the state’s 11.6 million residents could qualify to receive medical cannabis.

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