Ohio: Medical Marijuana Research Center Planned For Grow Site

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A nonprofit cannabis research institute plans to build a $24 million facility in Ohio and offer medical marijuana insurance if recreational legalization measure Issue 3 passes on November 3.

The International Cannabinoid Institute, a new Ohio-based nonprofit, announced on Tuesday it will rent land in Licking County from, you guessed it, investors who are backing the marijuana legalization ballot issue.

Issue 3 would legalize recreational and medical marijuana sales and use, but would limit commercial growing to just 10 sites owned by the wealthy investors who financed the measure.

Opposition has arisen to Issue 3 because of how it limits commercial growing to those who financed the ballot issue, reports Jackie Borchardt of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The preselection of site owners means that only investors in ResponsibleOhio, the political action committee backing the measure, would get to participate in the new marijuana cultivation industry.

Wealthy investors have contributed more than $20 million to the campaign, which would basically enshrine their marijuana monopoly into the state constitution.

Tuesday's announcement highlights the ability of ResponsibleOhio investors to lease their land to growers and researchers. When asked in August whether entrepreneurs would be able to lease space in the indoor growing facilities, ResponsibleOhio had declined to comment.

The International Cannabinoid Institute would grow and test cannabis in treating childhood epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other illnesses. The 15-acre Licking County complex would also offer medicinal cannabis insurance to cover costs for patients who can't afford it, using tax revenue from retail marijuana sales.

Landowner Dr. Suresh Gupta, a Dayton physician, and his business partner, Alan Mooney, have said that most of their site will be used for medical marijuana research. Mooney said he envisions the site including several growing, research, and business operations.

The 40,000-square-foo0t facility depends on Issue 3's passage. If Issue 3 fails at the polls, Greenlee said the Institute might move its headquarters to another state.

Photo: International Cannabinoid Insitute