WILMINGTON, Ohio (WKRC) – A place to grow marijuana could bring new jobs to a Tri-State city now that it’s legal for medicinal use.
The operation could impact a place hit hard by unemployment. At the intersection of Fyfe Avenue and Davids Drive in Wilmington a vacant lot could soon be a place for pot. Officials are thinking of building a campus there and that campus should create between 220-300 jobs over the next six years.
Cincinnati financier Jimmy Gould is a partner in CANNAscend; CANN as in cannabis. The group will try to get one of Ohio’s dozen upcoming licenses for large site medical marijuana growth and cultivation facilities. Gould was one of the people behind Ohio Issue 3, a 2015 amendment which would have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. It lost. But then, the legislature legalized medical only.
Gould said, “When we got beat in Issue 3, it really was just the beginning of a long journey and we believe that we created the dialogue. Over 90 per cent of Ohioans support medical marijuana.”
And Wilmington, Gould said, welcomes new business.
Many know how Wilmington has had economic challenges the past decade. The loss of thousands of jobs when DHL moved out. And now, a couple of hundred more as amazon moves its shipping hub to the greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport. But growing pot could lead to growing the economy. Unless the federal government trumps state law.
Gould, who worked with Donald Trump in the USFL Football League in the 80’s, thinks it will all work out, “You know, I know President Trump very well and I believe President Trump supports medical marijuana. I don’t think attorney general sessions will touch medical marijuana because if he does he’ll probably have a civil war on his hands.”
Gould’s group still needs to get an Ohio license. But just down Davids Drive the mayor said, another indoor grow facility was already coming; same technology, different product, 30 more jobs.
Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth said, “It’s amazing technology. We have a company called Bright Farms that’s going to be releasing lettuce and tomatoes for a local grocery store, Aldi’s. And they grow it without soil. For a farmer kid it’s hard to believe you can raise crops without dirt. They do it all with water. It’s amazing.”
And Wilmington would be perfect for that. Agriculture is now the largest major at Wilmington College. DHL may be history but he future looked like culture and agriculture.
The group planning the marijuana facility should find out later in 2017, if it gets a license. The first crops would be ready for cultivation around June 2018.