5 things to know about medical marijuana in Butler County

The two new medical pot dispensaries in Butler County are working to open soon, officials from both companies have said.

Here are five things to know abut the medical pot industry in the county:

1. Construction is almost complete on Bloom Medicinals in Seven Mile

Andrew Wagner, head of operations at Bloom, said officials are about two weeks away from a completely finished building on Main Street.

RELATED: Second Butler County medical pot dispensary closer to opening in Seven Mile

“We are anticipating a tentative opening date in the middle of September. There still lies a fair amount of work from wrapping up construction, furniture setup, operation setup, and Board of Pharmacy inspections,” Wagner told the Journal-News. “As of Monday Aug. 12, we are approximately two weeks out from completing construction.”

2. How many people will be assisting patients?

Wagner said his company will be employing up to 10 people to start but have plans to expand quickly.

“Bloom Medicinals will open with seven to 10 employees and within the first six to 12 months of operation we will expand our staff to 12 to 15 employees,” he said.

3. What can patients expect when they shop there?

Bloom is a family-owned company with more than five years experience in the cannabis business, officials said

“We take the time to work with each individual patient to help identify products that will work best specifically for them,” Wagner said. “Our goal is to bring safe access to medical cannabis and be a positive addition to nearby communities. Bloom Medicinals strives to be a socially responsible organization with a goal of improving quality of life and well being for our patients and those around us.”

4. What’s up in Monroe?

The Strawberry Fields dispensary in Monroe is ready to open for business, they just need the state pharmacy board’s blessing, according to Jimmy Gould, chief executive of CannAscend LLC.

MORE: Phones keep ringing as Monroe medical marijuana dispensary waits for state inspection

The Monroe dispensary was originally targeted to open in mid-May, then June and then was delayed to August.

“We’ve done everything we can,” Gould said. “We’ve asked for a final inspection and we’re waiting for a date. We’re fully staffed and all four stores are ready.”

5. What’s the hold up?

Both Butler County pot emporiums had to get variances from the state because they weren’t ready to open as originally planned. The Strawberry Fields operation’s variance expired a week ago, and Bloom’s is set to expire Sept. 8. Two of Bloom’s five shops are already open in Columbus and Painesville Twp.

Ali Simon, public and policy affairs liaison for state pharmacy board, said the dispensaries will not have to get another variance, but they must be in full compliance with what they said they would have and do in their application before the state will let them open their doors.

“The board is continuing to review, assess the unique circumstances surrounding the provisional dispensary licensee,” she said. “Prior to the issuing of a certificate of operation, each provisional dispensary license must be capable of operating in compliance with the representations made in its application.”

She said she has not been told there is a backlog in getting the inspections scheduled and performed.

The state approved 56 dispensaries statewide, and 26 are now open.

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