Published: Sun, December 3, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.
After years of being over- run by the Three Cs – Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus – in the highly competitive field of economic development, Youngstown has finally emerged victorious.
On Thursday, a city-based company, Riviera Creek Holding LLC., was granted a permit by the state to operate a medical marijuana-growing site.
Riviera Creek, operated by Brian Kessler and his nephew, Daniel Kessler, will cultivate up to 25,000 square feet of cannabis, with the possibility of expanding to 75,000 square feet of growing space.
The Kesslers will renovate their building at 1275 Crescent St. that housed Maui Toys Inc. It has been vacant since earlier this month.
“The first order of business is getting quotes to put the security in place, do construction to make it easier to produce the products and move equipment into the location,” said Daniel Kessler, the company’s chief operations officer.
We’re pleased that Kessler mentioned security first, given the history of drug-related crimes in Youngstown.
As we said in an editorial in May when six groups were seeking permits to locate marijuana-growing sites in Youngstown, “ … we would be remiss if we did not issue this warning: Beware the drug gangs in the city that have turned neighborhoods into war zones, and organized-crime types who will attempt to infiltrate the legitimate businesses.
“While the cultivation sites will have round-the-clock security, the Youngstown Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have a role to play in keeping unsavory characters away from this legal industry.”
The fact that Youngstown will have one of the 12 Level 1 sites is a victory for this region. More often than not, the Mahoning Valley has been on the losing end of economic development initiatives pursued by the major metropolitan areas in the