With no marijuana grower license, Carlisle plan to pay off debt nixed

Carlisle will not be the site of a proposed medical marijuana cultivation facility, impacting the Warren County village’s plan to pay off $300,000 in debt.

Ohio awarded a dozen large-scale grower licenses today from a pool of 109 applicants, but Ohio Craft Cultivators LLC, which planned to locate a growing facility in the Carlisle Business Park, was not among the winners.

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Last February, Carlisle Village Council rescinded a portion of its medical marijuana moratorium to allow a cultivation facility as well as selling the company 10 acres to build in the village’s business park. That land sale, however, was contingent on receiving a state license.

“I hoped they would have received a license” Carlisle Mayor Randy Winkler told this news outlet. “They were very optimistic … They felt like they were in a very good position.”

“I knew it would be a controversial issue,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to bring in a medical facility and pay off (village) debt.”

The 10 acres at the rear of the Carlisle Business Park was being sold for $45,000 an acre and was contingent on receiving state approval, according to the agreement.

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Had the deal gone through, officials said the proceeds would allow the village to pay off the $300,000 in remaining debt for the business park infrastructure improvements six years early.

Village Manager Julie Duffy said it would have saved the village about $32,000 in interest and other fees, all of which could be used for other community needs such as public safety.

Anthony DiLorenzo of Ohio Craft Cultivators had previously said the costs to build the growing facility would be $4 million to $5 million for the first phase and would have created 20 to 25 jobs.

The Journal-News has reached out to DiLorenzo, a Fairfield native, for comment.

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Winkler said the group had a very good business and security plan, and if the state has a second round in the future, he believes they will apply again.

The closest operation to Southwest Ohio to land a license is Columbia Care LLC, which is planning an indoor growing facility at 223 Homan Way in Mt. Orab in Brown County, according to our news partner WCPO.

According to plans included in the firm’s application, the facility is near Western Brown High School. But the property is outside of the 500 feet-minimum buffer zone set up by the state for marijuana-related ventures and certain public spaces, WCPO reported.

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