ELYRIA — A budding industry is eyeing Elyria as a home base to research, grow and sell medical marijuana, leading city officials to question if Elyria is ready to be a cannabis community.
The interest, Mayor Holly Brinda first announced at her annual State of the City address Tuesday, is in response to Ohio lawmakers making cannabis legal for medicinal purposes for those with myriad ailments and illnesses. However, reducing the legal restrictions was just the first step. Now, the state has to determine who should be the purveyors of the products and where they should be available.
That’s where Elyria comes into the conversation.
With its highway access, the city is a favored location for companies looking to snag the state’s coveted marijuana licenses. And, while companies don’t need the city’s permission to secure a license, the endorsement of city officials goes a long way in the state’s licensing application process. Understandably, that means many companies are coming to Brinda for a shot, she said.
Yet, Brinda said it’s not her decision to make, and such a venture should be vetted fully in a public setting.
“Whether you are a proponent or opponent of medical marijuana, it is coming to Lorain County. Licenses will be issued,” she said.
There are 28 states where the use of medical marijuana is legal, while more than a half-dozen also have opened up the drug for recreational use. The Ohio law that made medical marijuana legal puts limits on the amount, strength and type of cannabis products allowed. Smoking marijuana will not be allowed.
Brinda said one company looking to get a foothold in Elyria is Green Mile Enterprise, which has medical cannabis operations in other states under the name Shango Premium Cannabis. On Tuesday