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A Look at One of Ohio’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, Greenleaf Apothecary

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega A Look at One of Ohio’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, Greenleaf ApothecaryPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Provisional licenses for Ohio’s pioneer medical marijuana dispensaries were handed out last week, simultaneously revealing the sites where patients in need will be able to purchase the drug.

Greenleaf Apothecary, one of the five companies awarded licenses here in Franklin County, will set up shop Downtown at 111 Vine St., near the North Market. Their Director of Community Engagement and Patient Services, Kate Nelson, said the facility will function much like a pharmacy, with reliable information and patient comfort among their top priorities.

“One of our goals was to destigmatize medical cannabis so that all patients feel comfortable accessing treatment, and by making the dispensary experience open and welcoming and bright and informative,” Nelson said. “We thought that would really be a value to the community.”

The state did admit recently that it would miss the September 8, 2018 deadline for medical marijuana to be available for purchase. Licenses have been distributed to cultivators and dispensaries, but processors have yet to receive theirs.

Nelson said Greenleaf would be stocked as soon as possible. They’re currently going through environmental testing and will receive building permits after that.

Their facility offers 5,000 square feet, which will encompass retail space, a patient consult room and a conference room. Nelson said the Greenleaf team worked closely with the Columbus zoning office to ensure they were in compliance with state law, which dictates that any marijuana dispensary be located more than 500 feet from a school, church, public library, public playground, public park, or any community addiction services provider.

Greenleaf Apothecary hasn’t gotten much pushback from the community, Nelson said, an indication that “people realize the significant medical need.”

Marijuana will come in all forms at Greenleaf, including oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches, though state law prohibits smoking the substance. The products will be available to anyone who’s registered with the state Board of Pharmacy and has one of the 21 qualifying medical conditions.

Greenleaf will employ around 15 people at each of their locations, which are scattered in five areas throughout the state, including Cleveland, Canton, Akron and Wickliffe. A pharmacist will be present at each as the dispensary’s designated representative, but they’ll also have administrative and security personnel on site.

Greenleaf Apothecaries, LLC, the parent company of Greenleaf Apothecary, might be doing more than just delivering the product to the masses; Nelson said they’ve applied to be a part of each step in the process, from cultivator to dispensary. Although they did not receive a cultivator’s license, they’re holding out for a license to process.

Licenses for processors should be distributed later this month.

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