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Ohio announces first set of medical marijuana growers

Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 11:53 AM
Updated: Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 12:50 PM

What to know about the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio

Operations in Dayton and Huber Heights were included among the 11 Level II medical marijuana licenses announced Friday by the state of Ohio, but there remains some uncertainty whether either site will be state-approved to grow pot.

Two companies submitted applications for multiple locations, but can choose only one under state rules. That means Ohio Clean Leaf LLC has 10 days to decide whether to pick from its proposed sites in Dayton and Carroll in Fairfield County.

The Huber Heights site also could get rejected, but for a different reason. The city has a ban on marijuana-grow operations.

RELATED: Ohio passes bill to legalize medical marijuana

Although Paragon Development Group, LLC, won a Level II license for an operation in Huber Heights, it will have to abide by all local zoning restrictions and laws, said Ohio Department of Commerce spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski.

Jason Wilson, Paragon’s chief security officer, said the company is working to finalize a deal to shift the location to a city in Miami County.

“I’m ecstatic about it. I think it’s great,” he said of the news that Paragon was awarded one of the coveted licenses.

Friday’s announcement was anxiously awaited by the 76 applicants vying for up to 12 Level II licenses, which allow cultivation on up to 3,000 square feet.

Another 109 entities are seeking Level I licenses, which allow for cultivation up to 25,000 square feet.

Level I license awards will be announced in the coming weeks, though no target date has been set, Gostomski said.

Among the other area sites named in the Level II licenses were one in Monroe and one in Wilmington.

MAP: Where medical marijuana could be grown in Ohio

Here is the list:

  • Fire Rock Ltd., which will pick one of three locations identified — Columbus, Canton or Akron;
  • FN Group Holdings, LLC, Ravenna, Portage County;
  • Mother Grows Best, LLC, Canton, Stark County;
  • OhiGrow, LLC, Toledo, Lucas County;
  • Ancient Roots, LLC, Wilmington, Clinton County;
  • Ohio Clean Leaf, LLC, which will pick either Dayton or Carroll location;
  • Ascension BioMedical, LLC, Oberlin, Lorain County;
  • Agri-Med Ohio, LLC, Langsville, Meigs County;
  • Paragon Development Group, LLC, Huber Heights;
  • Hemma, LLC, Monroe, Butler County;
  • Galenas, LLC, Akron, Summit County.

Applicants were scored based on their business, operations, quality assurance, security and financial plans, according to state commerce department officials.

Brian Wright of the Ohio Cannabis Association called Friday’s announcement “very exciting.”

“There were clearly many strong applicants and these selections for the Level II licenses reflect the best of the best,” Wright wrote in a written statement. “We are looking forward to working with them, our state leadership and the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who will be able to have safe access to the medical treatments they need.”

More about the organizations selected for Level II licenses on Friday:

Ohio Clean Leaf: Seven owners with backgrounds in farming, rental property, trucking, investments and legal marijuana cultivation formed Ohio Clean Leaf. The company is under contract to purchase an industrial warehouse at 2046 Valley Street in Dayton. But it also has the option to set up shop at 3560 Dolson Street in Carroll. The ownership includes multiple members of the Landis family, who have run a hog and crop farm as well as a trucking company.

Paragon: Five managers, including four from the Miami Valley, formed the company. Chief Executive Re’Shanda Grace-Bridges, who runs a home-based travel agency, is director of new student programs at University of Dayton. Melinda Warthman, the compliance officer, is an adjunct instructor at UD. The company expects to pay $12 an hour, plus benefits. Paragon is working with a management company with experience in another state with legal marijuana. It plans to produce four strains: Float, Calm, Motivate, and Happy. It expects to be able to begin cultivation within six months.

Hemma: Two Cincinnati women — Elizabeth Van Dulman and Megan Arata — together own nearly two-thirds of the company while 10 other owners hold minor stakes. Van Dulman is a real estate agent and entrepreneur while Arata is a yoga and pilates instructor who owns a multi-faceted wellness center. The company is under contract to purchase 100 Edison Drive in Monroe and plans to create at least 10 jobs that pay above minimum wage. Hemma also plans to apply for a medical marijuana processor’s license from the state.

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Vandalia’s Air Show parade steps off

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

The Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce will host a parade on Friday for the Air Show. CONTRIBUTED.
The Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce will host a parade on Friday for the Air Show. CONTRIBUTED.

This is the 40th year for the Air Show parade, and it’s only had to be cancelled twice, with last year being the second time--according to Dan Schweitzer, Parade Chair.

To make sure the weather is going to be in good shape for the parade, Schweitzer checks the radar. If it’s going to rain, the parade is still on, but if it’s going to thunderstorm, then the parade gets called off.

Many people set up chairs outside to see this parade. “These chairs have been there for a couple of days now,” said Schweitzer. “We have like 30 volunteers, and over 70 units in the parade. We got bands, we got drum cores, we got the shrine in the parade. So everyone needs to come out and see us.”

On Friday, the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce will host an Air Show parade in honor of this year’s Dayton Vectren Air Show at the Dayton International Airport.

The parade will close a portion of National Road and Dixie Drive from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, according to Communications Manager Rich Hopkins.

MORE: Insider’s guide to the Dayton Air Show: 7 things to know before you go

Event organizers had planned for Vandalia Police Chief Douglas Knight to be the grand marshal for the parade, but Knight died this spring, just weeks after announcing he planned to retire this summer.

Instead, members of the Knight family will will step in as the honorary grand marshals.

MORE: Hungry at the Air Show? Check out these Vandalia-area restaurants

The parade route is James Bohanan Drive at National Road, to Dixie Drive and National Road. Then it continues to North on Dixie Drive to Inverness Drive, according to Hopkins.

For more information about the parade contact Hopkins at (937) 898-5891.

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Report: Gunman demands drugs from Rite Aid in Harrison Twp.

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:17 PM

Robbery

An armed suspect demanded drugs and threatened employees tonight during a robbery at a Rite Aid pharmacy.

The robbery was reported around 7 p.m. at the business, 4328 N. Main St. in Harrison Twp.

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According to scanner traffic, the suspect threatened: “give me the drugs or I’ll kill you.”

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched, and we have a crew on the way.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Robbery

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Georgia man admits he had 50 pounds of hydroponic pot in Piqua traffic stop

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:02 PM

Kasheem Hill
Kasheem Hill

A Georgia man who troopers said had 50 pounds of hydroponic marijuana in his vehicle when stopped on Interstate 75 north of Piqua in January pleaded guilty Friday to felony drug possession.

Kasheem Hill, 26, of Marietta, Ga., was arrested following the stop on suspicion of possession of marijuana and possession of criminal tools, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

A patrol K-9 alerted to the vehicle after responding to the scene and a probable cause search uncovered the hydroponic pot being carried in duffel bags and a large plastic bag, troopers said. 

Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in either a bath or a flow of oxygenated, nutrient-enriched water.

RELATED: Troopers seize 50 pounds of marijuana in Miami County

Hill waived a grand jury hearing of allegations against him and pleaded guilty Friday to one felony charge in Miami County Common Pleas Court. A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled Aug. 10.

Hill was released from the Miami County Jail on a recognizance bond pending sentencing.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Retired Troy firefighter, and now a co-defendant, accused in rape case

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:08 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:50 AM

Retired Troy firefighter arrested for rape, son arrested hours later

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (June 22): A retired Troy firefighter and a co-defendant remain in jail on a rape charge, while the former firefighter's son also remains in jail on a weapons charge. 

Jeffrey Paul Covault, 48, had his bond set at $200,000 cash on a single count of rape. His plea of not guilty was taken this morning. 

Thomas Perkins Jr., 54, identified as a co-defendant in the rape case, had his bond set at $200,000 as well. According to authorities, Perkins worked for Jeffrey Paul Covault's lawn care business. 

Aaron Jacob Covault, 24, had his bond set at $22,000 cash during his court appearance via video in Miami County Municipal Court. 

He is detained in the Miami County Jail on charges of weapon possession as a felon (a felony) and weapons possession while intoxicated (a misdemeanor).

Aaron Jacob Covault, left, and Jeffrey Paul Covault

The elder Covault and Perkins are accused of engaging in sexual conduct with an intoxicated 21-year-old woman on March 2, in the parking lot of The Vault, on North County Road 25A, county Prosecutor Tony Kendell said. According to the indictment, the victim was impaired because of a mental or physical condition and the alleged perpetrators had cause of know of that impairment.

Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee issued a “no contact order” for the elder Covault and Perkins, meaning they are to have no contact with the alleged victim or with each other.

The elder Covault worked as a Troy firefighter/paramedic from May 1996 until he retired April 1, according to city personnel records.

A criminal records check shows he has been convicted for operating a vehicle under the influence in 2011 and for disorderly conduct in 2012.

The father and son were arrested hours apart Thursday from the same home, a residence in the 700 block of County Road 25A, north of Troy.

Aaron Jacob Covault, was arrested at the same address hours after his father was taken into custody. Police said the younger Covault was upset over the arrest of his father and discharged a gun.

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There were no report of injuries.

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Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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