Athens Co. location misses out on marijuana cultivation license

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A business that hoped to open a medical marijuana cultivation site in Athens County was not selected for one of 12 state licenses that would have allowed it to grow marijuana.

Now that business, Black Elk, LLC, a Westerville, Ohio-based company with a subsidiary office out of Ohio University’s Innovation Center, will not be purchasing about eight acres of land at the Theisen Industrial Park in The Plains. Black Elk had planned to build a 25,000 square foot marijuana grow facility at that site.

Black Elk co-founder Chris Vince confirmed as much during a brief interview Friday last week. Vince said he was disappointed in the choices that the Ohio Department of Commerce’s selection committee made.

“Most of the licenses went to big out of state companies… they didn’t really keep them in Ohio, which is a travesty,” Vince said.

Southeast Ohio was almost entirely left out of the “Level I” awarded state licenses outside of one being awarded to a business in Lawrence County. Most of the businesses selected are located in northern and northeast Ohio (no businesses in central Ohio were awarded any licenses, either).

The companies that were awarded the “Level I” state licenses follow:

• Buckeye Relief LLC (Eastlake, Lake County)

• Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC (Newton Township, Muskingum County)

• OPC Cultivation LLC (Huron, Erie County)

• Riviera Creek Holdings LLC (Youngstown, Mahoning County)

• Pure Ohio Wellness LLC (Springfield, Clark County)

• Columbia Care OH LLC (Mt. Orab, Brown County)

• Terradiol Ohio LLC (Canton, Stark County)

• Standard Wellness Company LLC (Gibsonburg, Sandusky County)

• AT-CPC of Ohio LLC (Akron, Summit County)

• Cresco Labs Ohio LLC (Yellow Springs, Greene County)

• Parma Wellness Center LLC (Parma, Cuyahoga County)

• Harvest Grows LLC (Hamilton Township, Lawrence County)

• Harvest Grows LLC (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)

Meanwhile, Meigs County was selected as the site for one of 12 “Level II” smaller (3,000 square feet or less) marijuana cultivation site licenses in early November. The companies that submitted multiple bids must choose only one site out of the multiple listed.

• Fire Rock Ltd. (Columbus, Franklin County)

• Fire Rock Ltd. (Canton, Stark County)

• Fire Rock Ltd. (Arkon, Summit County)

• FN Group Holdings LLC (Ravenna, Portage County)

• Mother Grows Best LLC (Canton, Stark County)

• OhiGrow LLC (Toledo, Lucas County)

• Ancient Roots LLC (Wilmington, Clinton County)

• Ohio Clean Leaf LLC (Dayton, Montgomery County)

• Ohio Clean Leaf LLC (Carroll, Fairfield County)

• Ascension BioMedical LLC (Oberlin, Lorain County)

 • Agri-Med Ohio LLC (Langsville, Meigs County)

•  Paragon Development Group LLC (Huber Heights, Montgomery County)

• Hemma LLC (Monroe, Butler County)

• Galenas LLC (Akron, Summit County)

There will likely be one marijuana dispensary opening up in southeast Ohio, with nine different companies that submitted applications for the single license available in the “southeast” region (which includes Athens, Meigs and Vinton counties). Those companies are:

• 127 OH, LLC, aka Bloom Medicinals, LLC.

• 7 Points Group, LLC.

• Elevate 1803, LLC.

• Green Health Dispensaries, LLC.

• Harvest of Ohio, LLC, aka Harvest of Ohio.

• Mer-It Releaf, LTD.

• Phytotherapeutics, LLC.

• Ohio Therapeutics, LLC.

• Sona Health Ohio Services, LLC, aka Sona Health Services, LLC.

MEANWHILE, a five-year research agreement that Black Elk Biotech, a subsidiary of Black Elk, had signed with Ohio University is up in the air. The company’s $1.85 million agreement with OU’s Edison Biotechnology Institute meant the university would research and test cannabis as well as other natural products, helping to develop products specifically designed to treat each of the 22 different qualifying medical conditions under the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Black Elk’s Chris Vince said while the company hasn’t made any decision yet, it needs to “re-evaluate” that agreement with OU.