Monroe’s medical marijuana dispensary under construction, could open in spring

Monroe’s medical marijuana dispensary is under construction and could be open sometime in mid-May, according to its owner.

Jimmy Gould, whose company CannAscend Alternative also has dispensary licenses in Dayton, Marietta and Logan, said the foundation concrete has been poured, the temporary electric has been installed, and the plumbing has been roughed in at the Strawberry Fields dispensary in Monroe.

He said the next steps are to install the structural framing, the roofing structure and sidewall sheeting for the 4,100 square-foot building located on a 1.87-acre lot at 300 N. Main St.

Unlike the other three locations that are housed in existing buildings, he said the Monroe site is a new building.

“We’re working with our Ohio communities,” Gould said. “We’re really excited about the location.”

He also said his organization has been working to develop training and operational manuals and that they have received a “fair” amount of resumes and calls from people seeking employment.

“This is a brand-new industry,” he said. “We’re prepared. We’ll have a very strict regulatory compliance and everything is being done to be compliant with the state Pharmacy Board.”

Gould praised the work of the state Pharmacy Board throughout the process and understands the needs of retail consumers. He said he realizes how important it is for everyone to work together.

“This is something that has a lot of moving parts and you have to get it right the first time,” he said. “Security is the most important component and we have to have a strong, compliant regulatory environment — this is necessary for this industry to succeed. The most important thing is to get it right.”

Gould thinks people in Ohio have been waiting a long time for this and believes they’ll be pleased when these are fully open.

“I know everyone is anxious to get these dispensaries open,” he said. “But they have to be opened in the right way and operated in the right way. I think everyone has to move a

Gould said that only people with a valid medical marijuana card will be allowed to enter the building once its opens later this spring. Before it goes into operation, the dispensary will be inspected by the state Pharmacy Board and the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program.

Monroe is one of two Butler County locations where medical marijuana licenses were granted last year. The other licensed dispensary will be located in Seven Mile.

There were 56 licensees approved statewide from a pool of 376 applications in July that included 11 applicants from Butler County. A total of 12 dispensary licenses were awarded for the Dayton-Cincinnati region. One license was awarded in nearby Lebanon in Warren County.

Monroe is also the site of a Level II cultivation license that was awarded to Hemma LLC, which is building a growing facility at 100 Edison Drive. According to state officials, Level II licenses allow for growing spaces for up to 3,000 square feet.

Carrie Francis, Ohio Department of Commerce spokesperson, said the Hemma LLC facility was awarded a provisional license on Nov. 3, 2017 and received its certificate of operation on Sept. 11, 2018. She said the certificate of operation enabled Hemma LLC to begin cultivating marijuana.

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