By Ariel Hakim
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s been more than a year since medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio, but it won’t be long now before dispensaries open their doors.
Ohio law requires the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program to be fully operational by September 2018, including in Summit County.
Several communities, including Bath, Copley, Fairlawn, Granger, Green, Norton, Peninsula and Richfield have enacted bans on cultivation, processing and selling medical marijuana within their boundaries.
Akron, however, is allowing businesses that have undergone the state’s rigorous vetting process to set up shop to grow, process and sell medical marijuana, and the Ohio Department of Commerce has granted provisional licenses to three businesses to operate growing facilities in the city.
The window to apply to process medical marijuana or open a dispensary in Ohio has closed, but no provisional licenses have yet been granted.
In November, 24 businesses statewide were awarded provisional licenses to cultivate marijuana for medical use, including the three in Akron, from a field of 185 applicants. Twelve of the 24 received tentative permission by the Department of Commerce to use an initial growing space up to 25,000 square feet, while the other dozen were allowed up to 3,000 square feet of growing space.
In Summit County, AT-CPC of Ohio LLC was awarded a provisional license to operate one of the larger facilities. According to the application submitted by business owner Adam Thomarios, the proposed facility is to be located in Chapel Hill at 1055 Home Ave., Akron’s former Sewer Maintenance Building. Once operational, AT-CPC plans to employ 31 full-time employees and eight to 10 part-time trimmers, according to the application.
Provisional permits for smaller operations in Akron were given to Fire Rock Ltd. and Galenas LLC.
Fire Rock’s proposed facility