Anthony Cieslak, General Manager of Grow Ohio, and Caroline Henry, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Grow Ohio, talk about the marijuana grow site next to Quasars Plant in Newton Township. The site is under construction and expected to be completed this summer.(Photo: Chris Crook/Times Recorder)Buy Photo
MUSKINGUM COUNTY – Construction has begun on what will become a medical marijuana facility on U.S. 22 in Newton Township.
Last year, representatives for Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals LLC applied to the state to establish a marijuana grow site at that location, 6400 Maysville Pike, on 10 acres of the approximate 153 owned by Quasar Energy Group.
The state awarded rights to Grow Ohio and 11 others to establish and operate such sites across Ohio.
Earlier this month, contractors were drilling caissons and working on the foundation of the 55,000-square-foot building, which will house the plants as well as offices.
Soon, said Anthony Cieslak, general manager for Grow Ohio, walls will start to go up.
By law, it has to receive a certificate of operation by Aug. 30. Caroline Henry, vice president of Corporate Communications for Grow Ohio, said the first phase will be completed this summer, which means 25 percent of the 25,000 square feet that will be dedicated to growing marijuana will be up and running.
“We think it’ll be up in July,” she said.
As the business grows and demand increases, the remaining 75 percent of the grow site will be added to its operations. Cieslak said starting slow was just basic business sense, and the whole facility should be up and running by 2020.
At that point, it is slated to produce 18,000 pounds of dried marijuana per year.
Ohio split the medical marijuana business process into four stages: cultivation, processing, testing and dispensing. Grow Ohio is permitted to