PIQUA — Two medical marijuana dispensaries planned for Piqua are moving closer to opening, and one licensee is aiming to be fully operational sometime in the spring of 2023.
“We’re extremely excited to be in Piqua,” Green Goat Dispensary CEO Cindy Bradford said. “We are thrilled to be opening up next year, and able to offer services to our patients.”
“You’re going to see progress coming up,” Bradford said in September. “They are going to start probably within the next week, moving ground.”
The dispensary will be located at 8866 County Road 25A. When completed, the new building will feature approximately 4,000-square-feet of retail space and a drive-through window.
“We will be doing a full build,” Bradford said. “We’ll be providing drive-through access to individual patients so it will provide an easier access point, especially for people with accessibility issues.”
Another licensed dispensary operated by Ascend Wellness Holdings (AWH) is also planning to open in Piqua within the next year or so. The AWH dispensary will be located at 1206 Recker Road.
“We will be purchasing the real estate,” AWH Senior Vice-President of investor relations Rebecca Conti Koar said. “We will be funding that, and kind of leading the build out.”
“We’re planning to build at three different locations,” Koar said. “One is in Piqua, another one will be in Sandusky and the last one will be in Cincinnati.”
Both dispensaries plan to carry a wide range of cannabis and medical marijuana products, including processed items like, oils, cartridges, gummies and other edibles.
“We offer a whole range of cannabis products, from loose flower to pre-rolled,” Koar said. “Then we have edibles, and in some cases we have concentrates.”
“We try to carry a bunch of different form factors of cannabis at different potency levels, and with different brands,” she said.
“They have to be Ohio-based products that are approved and regulated by the state,” Bradford said. “The only things that you can buy or sell in the state of Ohio have to be produced from a plant grown within the state of Ohio.”
“It’s still a medical program,” she said. “All of the cultivators and all of the processors in the state of Ohio are regulated.”
Both Piqua’s licensees were part of a second round of dispensary licenses issued recently by the state of Ohio. The state originally issued 58 dispensary licenses; another 70 provisional licenses were approved in the spring of 2022. The city of Piqua has also changed its regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries since the state’s medical marijuana program started in the summer of 2016.
“In 2020, the Piqua City Commission amended the zoning code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the CBD central business district and B general business zoning districts,” city of Piqua Public Relations Spokesperson Brittany Peltier said.
“The zoning at this location allows for a medical marijuana dispensary land use,” Peltier said. “The Planning Commission has authorized a drive-thru special use to be permitted at the two (County Road 25A and Ash Street) subject locations.”
AWH is managing the Recker Road dispensary as part of a deal to eventually acquire the original license holder, Ohio Patient Access LLC.
“We’ve got 22 different dispensaries that are operating today, and five cultivation facilities,” Koar said.
Founded in 2018, AWH already owns two other dispensaries and a cultivation facility in Ohio.
“We started with operations in Illinois, and we’ve since grown to six states,” Koar said. “We’re in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and we have a license in Pennsylvania as well that we are building out now.”
“We’re looking forward to being good partners with the towns that we are in,” Koar said.
Green Goat Dispensary LLC. started with a dispensary in Coshocton, which the company recently sold to fund their expansion in other areas.
“We had owned the Ohio Cannabis Company in Coshocton,” Bradford said. “We were the sixth company open in the state of Ohio, the sixth dispensary.”
“We were there from the very beginning,” she said. “My partners and I all live in the state of Ohio; we are not some big company out there, we will be hiring everybody and running it ourselves.”
“It’s very important to us to be community-focused,” Bradford said. “We hope to foster the same environment that we did in Coshocton, where everything is family-focused.”
In addition to providing jobs, city officials also expect some revenue to be generated by the new dispensaries.
“Revenue to the city will include taxable income,” Peltier said. “Improvements to the property will generate an increase in the property taxes, which provide revenues to the school system and other entities.”
“We would like to be ingrained in the city of Piqua,” Bradford said. “Eventually the goal of the program is to go recreational; they will probably be looking at somewhere around 2024, is what I gather from estimates but they haven’t declared that at this point in time. It’s a huge deal to the state of Ohio.”
“The first step is always medical patients, so they have accessibility,” she said. “It’s really, really important that we have accessibility for all patients within the state of Ohio.”
The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.