Warren to Hear from Medical Marijuana Startup

WARREN, Ohio – City Council this evening will consider legislation to support a company seeking a license to establish a medical marijuana growing operation in the city.

Council members will hear a presentation from Bobby Ina, a representative of a company reportedly called Patient Relief of Ohio, which is seeking their approval for its proposal.

Ohio voters last year approved production, processing and use of medical marijuana. The state is expected to award 12 Tier I licenses, for operations that are initially 25,000 square feet but could expand to 75,000 square feet. Another 12 licenses are for Tier II operations, for sites that are 3,000 square feet initially but could double in size.

According to Council President Jim Graham, members were not given the name of the group that is seeking the license, only that Ina represents a group of ex-athletes, educators and attorneys who are interested in securing one of the grow licenses.

Council members also were not told whether the group was seeking the Tier I or Tier II license but he expected Ina to present additional information during a caucus session before tonight’s council meeting.

The city would benefit from the 60 to 70 jobs that would be created, Graham said. “As long as the police chief and other officials in charge of law and order are satisfied, it’s a win-win for everybody,” he remarked.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold said she didn’t have a problem with the proposal itself but was concerned that the representative of the growers’ group wanted the city to limit any endorsement to one applicant.

“I don’t think that we should endorse just one group,” Saffold said. Given that it is unlikely anther group would be coming forward before the June 30 deadline to apply for one of the grow licenses, she was “not going to have a problem” supporting the group’s effort tonight.

Five companies met with members of Youngstown City Council last week to get support for their license applications. As far as Graham knows, the group appearing before council tonight is the only one seeking a license in Warren.

Graham said he expects City Council to approve a proclamation of support at tonight’s meeting. Then the group would have to submit its application to the state for final determination

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.