By Haylee Pence
PIQUA — Ground is expected to break soon on a local medical marijuana dispensary in Piqua, which will be the second dispensary in the city.
The Piqua City Commission heard a presentation from Ascend Wellness Holdings, the second dispensary company to open, during its meeting on Tuesday, March 7.
The company has operations in Ohio in Cincinnati, Sandusky, and Piqua. In Ohio, there is also a cultivation/processing facility. Ascend Wellness Holdings will be opening a dispensary on Recker Road.
“It’s truly a place patients will be coming to get medicine,” said Ohio Patient Access (OPA) Manager Eric Kmetz. “It’s not a place to hang out.”
According to Kmetz, a drive-thru will also be available similar to other prescription drive-thrus.
The safety and security of the location was discussed during the meeting, as well card access, alarms, cameras and emergency action plans. The company will utilize a third-party security company to establish security procedures.
Ascend Wellness Holdings has a focus on social justice.
“We are aware that we are profiting from something that put a lot in a very disadvantageous situation. We try to do the best that we can to remedy that,” said Matt McKenna, representative of Ascend Wellness Holdings.
To do that, McKenna said Ascend Wellness Holdings will assist nonviolent offenders with cannabis convictions. According to the presentation, they’ve hosted five expungement clinics and hired four returning citizens.
Then, the business’ community involvement was discussed. At another location, they’ve sponsored a car show and a senior day.
The retail facility will hire a variety of positions, starting at $15 per hour, and will include benefits for full-time employees.
Ground will be broke soon for the building, and according to Kmetz, there has been issues with water and sewage limitations on the property.
McKenna said it will be prohibited to consume cannabis inside the building and on the property.
At the end of the meeting, the floor was opened for public comment which two residents spoke.
Dolores Brown, a Piqua resident, voiced being against having two dispensaries come into the city of Piqua. She brought up her concern about people selling cannabis to others without a prescription.
Tom Homan, of Nicklin Avenue, expressed concern over branding with high school activities. Commissioner Kazy Hinds informed Homan the decision would be up to the school board to determine what the company could provide to the schools.
The other dispensary is Green Goat Dispensary and will be located on County Road 25A. This dispensary will also feature a drive-thru window and retail space.
Each dispensary is expected to carry medical marijuana products such as oils, gummies, and other edibles. These products are required to be made in the state of Ohio and regulated. Currently, Ascend Wellness Holdings has one cultivation facility in Ohio.
The dispensaries were required to obtain a dispensary license, and over 100 licenses have been distributed across Ohio. In 2020, the city of Piqua amended the zoning code in order to allow the medical marijuana dispensaries to establish in Piqua.
For more information on the dispensaries, visit Piqua medical marijuana dispensary plans for spring opening – Miami Valley Today