Ascend Wellness Holdings opens doors in Piqua


By Eamon Baird

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PIQUA — Ascend Wellness Holdings (AWH) of Piqua officially opened its medical marijuana facility with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 1206 Recker Road.

After a soft opening on Dec. 30, 2023, AWH is now the second marijuana dispensary in Piqua. The Ohio Cannabis Company (OCC), located at 8866 N. County Road in Piqua, opened on June 10, 2023.

According to the company website, AWH owns and operates 34 dispensaries nationwide with six state-of-the-art cultivation facilities.

Tevin Johnson is the general manager of AWH in Piqua and has worked for the company since March of 2021.

“I’m very, very passionate about the benefits of cannabis. It’s something I’ve always been passionate about. And now we’ve gotten to a place in society where we can make it professional and educate and assist people,” Johnson said.

On Nov. 7, Ohio voters passed Issue 2, legalizing the sale and purchase, as well as the possession and use of cannabis for everyone over 21 years of age, becoming the 24th state to do so. This comes with a 10% tax on all sales.

After the passage of Issue 2, dispensaries will likely begin operating as recreational adult-use in the summer or early fall of 2024. Until the first recreational dispensary opens in the state of Ohio, residents who do not have an Ohio medical marijuana card will not be able to purchase marijuana in the state lawfully.

“Right now, we are open strictly as a medical facility; you have to have an active prescription medical card as well so you can purchase, so all those things do have to be accurate for you to not only shop here but to get past our sales floor,” Johnson said.

Johnson added the facility has 53 cameras and a management team with access to 360-degree coverage of the building that runs 24 hours a day.

“We have a lot of safety procedures put in place as well, and the way that we operate our business to ensure the safety of not only my employees and myself but also every patient that comes in,” Johnson said.

There are also strict non-consumption policies inside the facility.

“There is no live product on my floor; there is absolutely no consumption in the building on the premises of the building by any patient or any of my employees. That is an absolute no, that will not happen,” Johnson said.

Johnson is grateful for the reception AWH has received from the community so far.

“The one thing that I’ve appreciated is that patients are giving us a chance and coming in to shop with us, but also, it’s just they’ve been very patient with us breaking in a brand new staff. They’re cool and just really accepting of us as a new cultivator and brand here. I’m very appreciative of the patients to come in through here,” Johnson said.

Ascend Wellness Holdings in Piqua has 16 employees and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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