Youngstown passed over for smaller marijuana grow site location

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV/AP) – Eleven companies have been awarded small cultivating licenses to grow medical marijuana in Ohio but none of the growing sites will be in the Mahoning Valley.

The closest license is in Ravenna. Both Canton and Akron will have growing sites as well. Other locations include Columbus, Dayton, Toldeo, and the Cleveland area.

Only one group applied locally for the smaller level 2 license — Silver Rapids LLC, of Austintown.

The smaller growers would cultivate up to 3,000 square feet, the Department of Commerce announced Friday.

That’s a small portion of the anticipated cultivation. Up to a dozen larger growers for sites up to 25,000 square feet are expected to be announced later this month.

Several companies across the state are vying for the 12 level 1 licenses for larger sites.

Multiple companies pitched plans to Youngstown City Council, hoping to secure a license for level 1 grow operations.

One of those companies is Riviera Creek, owned by locals Brian and Daniel Kessler. A warehouse on Youngstown’s Crescent Street would be transformed into a marijuana farm.

Daniel is hoping to know which companies will be receiving the licenses soon.

“They’re working hard on this and hopefully announcing the level 1 by the end of the month. Our expectation, or I should say our hope, is by the middle of the month, we hear,” he said.

Daniel said the state has also started taking applications for processors and dispensaries. His company will submit an application to be a processing plant and is deciding whether to submit one for selling.

Even though the state has chosen its smaller growers, it could be months before they start their first crop.

These companies will get provisional licenses but can’t immediately begin growing marijuana. They must first get their businesses operational and have a state team visit their facilities.