Siebenthaler property among proposed medical pot growing sites

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Siebenthaler property among proposed medical pot growing sites

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Siebenthaler’s Garden Center. Stock art.

Siebenthaler’s has optioned 10 acres at its Beavercreek garden center to a company bidding to secure a license to grow medical marijuana.

State records list the address of 2074 Beaver Valley Road, located in Beavercreek Twp., on one of 185 potential sites for a state license to grow medical marijuana. Siebenthaler’s Beavercreek Garden Center and a wholesale nursery are located on the property.

Vicki Giambrone, serving as spokeswoman for Siebenthaler’s, said the company has optioned 10 acres to the proposed venture Cansortium Ohio LLC.

“If successful in obtaining a license, Cansortium Ohio will construct a highly secured facility on 10 acres at the Beavercreek Township location, with 24-hour on-site security,” she said. “If approved, the Cansortium Ohio facility will create 30 to 50 new jobs and these employees will be required to complete and pass a federal background check, drug and security screening.”

Other than traffic during construction, the project would have “no effect” on the nursery and garden center, Giambrone said. The nursery currently sits on 450 acres.

Cansortium’s state application lists its trade name as Knox Medical LLC, and Knox Medical Founder and CEO Jose Hidalgo is listed as the applicant. Hidalgo has an office in North Canton.

Knox Medical is based in Miami, Fla., and operates dispensaries and growing centers in Florida and Puerto Rico. It also has conditional approval to operate in Texas and Pennsylvania, according to its website.

A Knox Medical spokesman said Tuesday the company has earned among the top scores in applications to operate in other states and believes the company will be very competitive in Ohio.

Logistical reasons and Siebenthaler’s reputation in the greenhouse industry sold the company on the Dayton-area location, he said. Siebenthaler’s has been in business in the market since 1870.

The application is for a Level 1 license, meaning it would initially allow the growing of up to 25,000 square feet of product. Level 2 licenses will initially allow for the growth of up to 3,000 square feet.

Ohio officials are expected next month to award up to a dozen each of the Level 1 and Level 2 licenses statewide.

Giambrone said Siebenthaler’s first greeted the proposal by Knox Medical “with a great deal of skepticism and concern.” However, she said, company officials soon learned that Knox has “an impressive track record and a sterling reputation for providing exceptional safety and quality control which is extremely important in the medical field.”

“The Siebenthaler company would never move forward unless there was confidence that the safety and security of the public as well as ensuring this was going to provide a safe medical cannabis product,” she said.

Giambrone, a former Beavercreek mayor, is a partner with CBD Advisors, a government affairs consulting firm that was founded by former U.S. Rep. Dave Hobson, R-Springfield. Giambrone and another partner, former state lawmaker and one-time Ohio GOP chairman Kevin DeWine, run the company.

The city of Beavercreek has voted to ban medical marijuana facilities, but Beavercreek Twp. has taken the opposite approach. Last week, the zoning commission for the township recommended the type of zoning needed for such businesses, and township trustees are expected to vote on the recommendation at their Oct. 24 meeting.

The trustees will also begin discussion on whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the township, according to Ed Amrhein, township planning and zoning administrator.

“It’s frankly and generally an open discussion about whether Beavercreek Twp. will allow dispensaries of medical marijuana,” Amrhein said. “It’s conceivable to us that there’s citizens in the township who will benefit from this, so we want it deliberated carefully and constructively.”

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