WILMINGTON, Ohio — The pair behind Ohio’s 2015 failed recreational marijuana measure now plan to build a medical marijuana growing and processing facility in Southwest Ohio.
Jimmy Gould and Ian James, who co-founded ResponsibleOhio, announced Wednesday they will seek one of 12 large growing facility licenses under the new Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. They plan to build near the Wilmington air park.
In 2015, James and Gould pushed a plan that would have legalized medical and recreational marijuana but limited growing to 20 pre-selected sites promised to campaign investors. Investors spent more than $20 million on the campaign, but the measure was defeated by a vote of 64 to 36 percent.
“This has been a long journey, but a satisfying one because we’ve always kept our eye on legalizing medical cannabis for chronically-ill Ohioans — our returning veterans suffering from PTSD, children with epilepsy, those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and the many others suffering from debilitating illnesses,” Gould said in a press release.
Gould and James are joined by Bill Brisben, a Cincinnati developer and former ambassador to UNICEF.
Their company CannAscend Ohio wants to build a 25,000-square-foot facility on a 19.2 acre lot. They plan to expand to 50,000 square feet and later 75,000 square feet, when allowed by state regulators.
Future plans include a research and product manufacturing facilities, both of which would require additional state licenses.
Wilmington, located between Cincinnati and Columbus, has struggled to regain jobs lost after shipping company DHL closed its hub there. Amazon recently passed over the city when choosing its next air hub location.
Gould and James’ project has the support of local officials.
“The resulting jobs and potential for greater research opportunities offers important prospects for partnerships with area colleges that have a focus on agriculture science, chemistry and