YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are now three medical marijuana dispensing business in the Valley — one each in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. But the newest is the first in the City of Youngstown.
With the snip of a ribbon Friday, Leaf Relief became a part of the community.
The dispensary on Market Street in Youngstown is run by local developer Herb Washington and his family. It is just the 19th to open in Ohio since April, even though marijuana for medicinal uses was legalized three years ago.
“Ohio is the most regulated medical marijuana market in the country,” said Terrell Washington, director of business operations. “We’re the only one that’s completely insulated within the Board of Pharmacy.”
He said it was an expensive gamble for those looking to open such shops.
“Everybody who applied invested tons of money just to apply, just to get to that position, so it’s been a long process.”
Owners put close to $1 million into renovating the building.
Because of state regulations, we were not allowed inside the facility. We did get some pictures of the inside from Crowe’s Cabinets in Boardman, which renovated the building that has security rivaling most banks.
“There’s cameras that cover every single inch of the property, outside and in,” Terrell said. “That is streaming to the state 24/7. It’s ballistic glass in there and armed guards.”
By law, patients must show valid identification to get in, along with a prescription from a state-certified doctor.
Prices start around $33 for a one-day supply of the drug and patients can obtain up to 90 days’ worth at a time.
Erin King, of Petersburg, was one of the first people through the front door.
“I went to dispensaries even before this dispensary,” she said. “I was driving to East Liverpool, driving to Warren and it was taking an hour driving there, hour drive back every day.”
Patients like King are now glad the relief they seek is a little closer to home.
The business will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.