Mel Kurtz(Photo: Submitted)
ZANESVILLE – Mel Kurtz, CEO of Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC, which just won rights from the state to build a medical marijuana grow facility in Newton Township, used to live in Zanesville, has a company in Zanesville and wants to see the community embrace medical marijuana as an asset instead of a detriment.
The facility will be located at 6400 Maysville Pike, Newton Township, on 10 acres of the approximate 153 owned by Quasar Energy Group. Kurtz is president of Quasar and the energy used by the medical marijuana site will be provided by Quasar.
Additionally, Jeff Sidwell is also a partner in Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals and is Kurtz’s brother-in-law.
Kurtz said the new facility would be a $20-million investment and Phase I of the project would bring about 50 jobs to the community, not including ancillary jobs that will likely be needed as the project moves forward. As required by the state, the facility is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2018.
Kurtz knows some people are concerned about the impact such a facility could have on a community that has already been affected by the opioid crisis, but he doesn’t think people need to be worried.
“We’re only interested in medical marijuana,” Kurtz said.
A study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine linked the presence of medical marijuana in a community to a decrease of prescription drug deaths in that same community, and Kurtz believes medical marijuana will help people.
“When medical marijuana is available, the use of opioids goes down dramatically,” he said.
Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC won rights from the state to build a medical marijuana grow facility at 6400 Maysville Pike, Newton Township. (Photo: Submitted)
The site will be secure, Kurtz said, and he wants to