Carlisle has rescinded a portion of its medical marijuana moratorium to allow a cultivation facility as well as selling them 10 acres to build in the village’s business park.
After an executive session that lasted more than an hour where representatives of Ohio Craft Cultivators, LLC answered questions from council members during a special meeting, the Village Council Monday unanimously amended its Feb. 14 ban to allow cultivation facilities. However, that six-month moratorium will remain in place on medical marijuana dispensaries and processing facilities.
In addition, council also approved the sale of 10 acres for the company, which has deep Butler County roots, to build a multi-million dollar growing facility in the Carlisle Business Park that could create 20 to 25 jobs. The land sale is contingent on the company receiving a state license to operate a growing facility.
Both village and company officials said the growing facility would be a safe, secure facility that would grow marijuana and ship it to a processor which would extract the oils to make the product.
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Ohio Craft Cultivators contacted Carlisle officials a week ago about locating in the village’s business park because they were interested in coming to southwest Ohio, said owner Anthony DiLorenzo, a Fairfield native who now resides in New Hampshire. His sister, Debbie Gorman, resides in Oakwood.
“We explored different communities in southwest Ohio,” DiLorenzo said. “We looked at Carlisle on the advice of our consultants.”
In addition to the family’s connection to the state, DiLorenzo said Ohio did its due diligence in creating the rules in a professional manner.
DiLorenzo said the application for the state license is due on June 30 and said it could take up to three months for the state to make a decision. If the state approves the license, DiLorenzo said it would need to be operational by September 2018.
He said the costs to build the growing facility will be $4 million to $5 million for the first phase.
Another key component is the state’s strict regulations for the security of these facilities. Ted Grillo, the company’s director of security has worked on developing security plans with consultants in Rhode Island.
“Ohio did a great job of structuring its regulations in a comprehensive way,” he said.
Following Monday’s meeting, Ohio Craft Cultivators and village officials signed and notarized the contract and other documents to keep the momentum going.
Village Manager Julie Duffy said the 10 acres is located at the rear of the Carlisle Business Park and the land is being sold for $45,000 an acre.
While the land is inside the village limits, it’s also located inside the boundaries of the Franklin City School District, according to Warren County land records.
If the deal goes through after receiving state approvals, Duffy said the proceeds will allow the village to pay off the $300,000 in remaining debt for the business park infrastructure improvements six years early. Duffy said it would also save the village about $32,000 in interest and other fees, all of which could be used for other community needs such as public safety.
She said if the deal goes through, the new growing facility with its discrete signage would help to make the business park look fuller as there are more than 50 acres that remain available for development.
The contracts were signed after the council meeting so that the company can get the required documents forwarded to the state.
Council members agreed this was a very fast process and security was a top concern but that they did their research and due diligence as well as talking to residents. They also feel confident about the state’s regulatory process. While they expected push-back from the community, every council member said it was minimal as those who were against it agreed council had to do what was best for Carlisle.
Councilman Brad McIntosh noted that medical marijuana is legal and would be heavily regulated by the state. He also said this would be the same if a large pharmaceutical company decided to locate in the village.
“We adopted the moratorium so we could be in control of the process,” McIntosh said. “I don’t rush into anything. I’ve done my research and if this was bad, I wouldn’t support it.”