AKRON, Ohio – Harvest of medical marijuana began for the first time in the City of Akron Monday at the Calyx Peak Companies cultivation facility.
Rep. Tim Ryan and local officials were on hand for a tour of the Home Avenue facility led by company executives.
The facility is growing 8,000 plants and has dozens of strains of marijuana that were specifically developed to treat different medical conditions, according to Crop Director Adrien Alvarez.
The facility has the technology to closely monitor and adjust the climate. The company uses predatory insects to keep plants clean and pest-free.
Alvarez said after testing, the products will be packaged and will start arriving at dispensaries in a few weeks.
“Our experience, coupled with the proper equipment, renders the highest yields in crop uniformity while avoiding the pests, disease and physiological problems that can result from inadequate controls,” said Calyx Peak CEO Ed Schmults.
According to a press release, Calyx Peak Companies manages eight permits and 280,000 square feet of cultivation, extraction and distribution facilities in Ohio, California and Nevada. The company expected to hire about two dozen employees at its Akron facility.
According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, 15 cultivators are currently certified to cultivate and harvest medical marijuana. Buckeye Relief in Eastlake harvested its first batch of cannabis plants in early December.
Four Ohio dispensaries opened January 16 to begin selling cannabis products like oils, edibles and lotions.
At the start of January, 3,575 patients were registered to obtain medical marijuana. To register, patients must have a recommendation from a certified physician, complete an email form and pay a $50 fee.
Only people suffering from 21 qualifying illnesses, including AIDS, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis, are eligible.