Local medical marijuana grower says crops should be ready for market in early 2019

EASTLAKE, Ohio -- The first plants in Ohio's fledgling medical marijuana industry have already grown from seedlings into young adults.

More than 2000 cannabis plants are under the hot lights in the state of the art grow room at buckeye relief in Eastlake, under the watchful eye of a team of cultivators, led by Ohio State graduate Carmen Fultz, whose degree is in sustainable plant systems.

"Been familiar with the plant, when I got to know it, I realized there was so much potential in it and I knew this was like a dream job for me, like I have so much passion into this," said Cultivation Team Leader, Cameron Fultz

Buckeye Relief Founder Andy Rayburn said, "We'll go through a process of separating males from females because only the females grow to maturity."

Rayburn, who was awarded the first level cultivator's license in Ohio, said the marijuana being grown here will eventually be available for patients with 21 qualifying medical conditions.

"Ultimately those plants are going to help people with symptoms of AIDS. Those plants are going to help people with late stage cancer misery and that's what is really exciting to everybody here," said Rayburn.

The City of Eastlake sold the property that sat vacant for 15 years to Buckeye Relief for $300,000. Mayor Dennis Morley said the city will now harvest new income and property taxes and a $20,000 a year licensing fee.

Mayor Morley said, "Look at what we had, zero, and look at where we're at, so and I believe it's going to continue to grow as the industry grows.

The operators of Buckeye Relief said there are still some hurdles that need to be cleared before patients can buy medical marijuana in Ohio.

Dispensary licenses have been issued and some doctors are already recommending medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions, but they are now waiting for the state pharmacy board to establish guidelines for patient registration and how much marijuana can be purchased during each visit to approved dispensaries.

"That's our goal here, is to provide the best quality medicine to the people who need it here in Ohio," said Fultz.

The operators of Buckeye Relief said its first crop of medical marijuana should be harvested some time in December and will be ready for market by the beginning of 2019.