Lakewood Hoping for Financial Boost From Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

[photo credit: shutterstock/ Sherry Yates Young]
[photo credit: shutterstock/ Sherry Yates Young]
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Lakewood’s city council president Sam O’Leary says he is very excited that two of the 56 medical marijuana dispensaries licenses awarded in Ohio will be in Lakewood.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced the locations of the dispensary sites around the state this week -- following a lengthy application and approval process.

Nearly 400 applications were submitted to the state for consideration.

Lakewood city council passed regulations last year, in case the local company, GTI Ohio, LLC, was successful in the application process, O’Leary said.

Those regulations govern the security and outward appearance of any medical marijuana dispensary site. They also ensure Lakewood would benefit financially, he said.

“We’re charging a $25,000 annual license fee for these establishments, which is the equivalent to a new business coming in with a $2 million payroll,” O’Leary said.

“In addition to that we’ll also be getting 1.5 percent of all sales revenue, which is again a significant boon to city coffers in the long run,” he added.

There will be five medical marijuana dispensary sites in total in Cuyahoga County.

In addition to the two in Lakewood, there will also be two medical marijuana dispensaries in Cleveland -- one of them will also be operated by GTI and the other by Greenleaf Apothecaries, LLC. And a dispensary in Garfield Heights will be operated by Cannamed Therapeutics, LLC.

The state announced yesterday growers won’t make the September 8th launch date for medical marijuana, but the sites where it will be sold are still preparing for when they’re open for business.

All dispensary operators have six months to get ready to sell medical marijuana, and they will have to pass a final inspection before the doors can open, according to Grant Miller, medical marijuana liaison for the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

The will also have to follow several rules. They can only purchase from state-licensed marijuana growers and they can only sell to patients with state-approved medical cards or caregivers, said Miller.
“The actual dispensing of medical marijuana will happen in what we call the dispensing department,” he said.

The marijuana must be kept in this locked dispensing area and only registered patients with a photo I.D. will be allowed in.

“Dispensations are going to be sold in prepackaged, child-resistant containers. Once a patient is dispensed that will show up in kinda their own patient profile which will be tied to the Ohio RX Automated Reporting System,” said Miller.

Medical marijuana will be sold as oils and edibles. Vaping is allowed but smoking is prohibited.

Only people who meet several specified medical conditions can qualify for a medical card from the state.


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