Medical pot company ready to roll if state calls

EAST PALESTINE — The state Department of Commerce is expected to award 24 medical marijuana cultivation licenses next month, and Village Solicitor Dave Powers told council this week that if a license is awarded to the company interested in locating on Kemple Drive, it likely won’t be long before the facility gets up and running.

Pure Ohio LLC approached council this summer requesting permission to construct and operate a facility at the privately owned property on Kemple Drive off Bacon Avenue if the company is awarded a Tier II license from the state.

Pure Ohio is a subsidiary of Pure O&M (Operations and Management) of Denver, Colo., and was presented to council by Pure O&M partner Gregg Holtzman.

Holtzman told council at that time the plan is to build a 7,500-square-foot office and processing building, with a 3,000-square-foot greenhouse initially, with potential for more greenhouses later.

All growing and processing would be done inside to comply with state law, and nothing made at the facility would be available to East Palestine residents.

The company is one of 185 across the state seeking the 24 licenses to be awarded for medical marijuana cultivation and processing.

Companies began the scramble to file licensing applications for both dispensaries and processing and cultivation facilities after the state approved marijuana for medicinal purposes last year.

Patients are expected to begin receiving the medicine by the end of next year.

“If we are one of the few to get a license I think we will see a lot of activity in a hurry,” Powers said.

If approved, the company plans to use local contractors for the construction, and even hire local for the future jobs at the facility.

The facility would provide anywhere from seven to 15 new jobs the first day of opening, and within four years have anywhere from 35 to 50 jobs available, Holtzman has said.

The lowest paying job at the facility would be $15 per hour, and the highest annual wage could reach $85,000 a year.