5 Companies Seeking Pot Licenses in City

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning Valley Agriculture LLC, the group that says it’s raised $10 million to build a medical marijuana grow site, will be joined by four other companies Monday when City Council is scheduled to hear their pitches.

Council has no say in whether any will receive state licenses but can determine whether to permit medical marijuana operations in the city. Grow-site applications must be submitted to the state by June 30.

Mahoning Valley Agriculture told The Business Journal Monday that it hopes to build a 25,000 square-foot site in Phase I and eventually expand to 75,000 square feet and obtain a license to process the plant into medical substances. To do so, the company would need a Tier 1 license

Among the four other local ventures that say they will seek licenses is Riviera Creek LLC, according to documents provided by the city council clerk’s office, which also wants a Tier 1 grow license, a processing and dispensing license. Riviera’s investors include Brian Kessler and his nephew Daniel.

Brian Kessler operates SBL Venture Capital LLC in Los Angeles and was one of the investors in a group that sought to grow recreational and medicinal marijuana in Alliance in 2015, when they backed a constitutional amendment that went down to defeat.

The Kessler family owns Boardman Molded Products. Brian Kessler the founder of Maui Toys, which does business in this city’s River Bend industrial area. He sold Maui and two related businesses in 2012 for $36.2 million and formed SBL Venture Capital.

Other companies that will make presentations before council include:

  • Ohio Grown Medicine LLC, a company related to a medical marijuana business in Chicago.
  • Silver Rapids LLC of Austintown, which is seeking a Tier II license that would provide authorization to operate a 3,000 square foot grow site at first and up to 9,000 square feet at capacity.
  • Fasttrack Group, operator of McDonald’s restaurants in the area.


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