EASTLAKE, Ohio — Some locals don’t seem worried about a medical marijuana greenhouse envisioned for the former Eastlake JFK Senior Center site on Curtis Boulevard.
Leaders of Big Game Capital, an investment company in Chagrin Falls, told Eastlake City Council’s finance committee this week that they are considering buying the 33505 Curtis Blvd. site from the city, bulldozing the center’s dilapidated former building and raising a 50,000-square-foot marijuana greenhouse.
Pine trees, a 5-foot berm, air filters and water filters are expected to protect the neighbors. The site faces a bus depot for the Willoughby-Eastlake schools and borders residential homes.
Ashley Holmes, who lives across the street, welcomes the news about the greenhouse. She says medical marijuana relieved pain effectively for a friend with cancer.
Neighbor Louis Fish says of the greenhouse, “It wouldn’t bother me.” He doubts the pot would draw thieves. “With the cameras and security they have nowadays, you couldn’t get away with nothing.”
Some 15 years ago, the JFK senior center left Curtis Boulevard for the former Taft Elementary School at 1580 E. 332nd St. Coordinator Grace Giangiacomo says many seniors mistakenly thought the greenhouse would replace the center’s current home rather the former one. “You don’t know how many people have said, ‘Are we closing?'”
The Ohio Statehouse voted last year to allow 12 big and 12 small facilities to produce marijuana for prescriptions for pain relief. The greenhouse’s security would be led by Lewis Merletti, former head of the U.S. Secret Service and of the Cleveland Browns’ security, who attended the Eastlake meeting.
According to its website, Big Game Capital is led by Andrew Rayburn and has interests in the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Daytona Tortugas baseball team, Furnace Parts of Cleveland and several other businesses. Rayburn was not available for comment Thursday or Friday.