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

The phones keep ringing as patients call the owners of the Strawberry Fields medical marijuana dispensary in Monroe. The high call volume has reached the point that CannAscend LLC had to hire another person to field the phone calls.

Jimmy Gould, chief executive of CannAscend LLC, said the dispensary is still waiting for Ohio Board of Pharmacy representatives to do their final inspection of the Strawberry Fields dispensary in Monroe as well as in Dayton, Logan and Marietta.

The Monroe dispensary is in a new 4,100-square-foot building located on a 1.87-acre lot at 300 N. Main St.

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.”

Gould acknowledged that these things take a significant amount of time to complete.

“We’re really excited about this. We want to get open right away for our patients,” he said. “We already have a list of hundreds of patients and we’re looking forward to serving them.”

Ali Simon, Ohio Board of Pharmacy public and policy liaison, said she did not know the reason why a final inspection has not been done at the Monroe dispensary. Simon also said there is not a backlog of inspections for the state pharmacy board to conduct.

“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. “The board continues to assess the unique circumstances surrounding each provisional dispensary licensee.”

MORE: Area’s first medical pot dispensary opens, more shops coming soon

Simon said the board expects each licensee to do everything they said they were going to do in their application. If not, they will not receive an operation certificate.

“Strawberry Fields is aware and has been in contact with Board staff regarding assessing compliance with the representations made in its applications,” Simon said.

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 which opened in May.

About the Author