Spurned for Wilmington site, medical marijuana applicant pushes new pot issue

By News Journal staff - and Associated Press

COLUMBUS (AP) — A spurned applicant for a medical marijuana grower’s license at a Wilmington site has announced plans for a 2018 Ohio ballot issue to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana.

The proposal — by Jimmy Gould, CEO of CannAscend Ohio LLC — would make growing, processing, possessing, selling and using marijuana legal.

Three groups applied for a cultivation license that would pave the way for their company to build a medical marijuana growing facility in Wilmington.

Gould’s CannAscend Ohio, with partners Bill Brisben and Ian James, announced earlier this year that, if their bid had been successful, they would have built a facility on Davids Drive. They applied for one of 12 of the state’s Level I licenses which permits operating a facility with up to 25,000 square feet of growing space.

An application for a smaller, Level 2-size medicinal marijuana growing facility in Wilmington was approved last month by the Ohio Department of Commerce. It was submitted by Ancient Roots LLC, headed by David Haley of Lebanon, Ohio.

Gould said Monday the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” amendment will be on the ballot next fall. He says it would keep the existing medical marijuana program in place.

Gould has criticized the state Department of Commerce for hiring a consultant with a drug conviction to help select Ohio’s medical marijuana growers.

Gould said at a Monday news conference the selection system was flawed by incompetence and favoritism.

A message was left with the Commerce Department, which has rejected Gould’s claims.

By News Journal staff

and Associated Press