BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — The medical cannabis industry is as much a business as a grocery store or law firm. There are cannabis lawyers, business consultants, artists and designers and many many other opportunities that don’t involve the plant itself.
That is why the Ohio Cannabis Health and Business Summit is about connecting all those professions.
“This isn’t about smoking weed to get high from a recreational stand we’re here to talk about it from a medicinal side and a professional side,” OCHBS Founder Lenny Berry said.
Lenny Berry said the Ohio Cannabis Health and Business Summit is all about business.
He said medical marijuana in Ohio has opened up a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs, created jobs and sent millions in tax revenue to the state.
If Issue 2, the legalization of adult recreational cannabis use, passes in November, Berry said it would open the door and allow more people access to safe and regulated medicinal cannabis and cannabis products.
“They’re really trying to find a way to regulate it and that’s what we’re all about too. We want Issue 2 to pass, but we want to make sure everybody’s safe, and that’s what we want, too. We want Issue 2 to pass but we want everybody to be safe, from the business owners to the consumers,” Berry said.
Opponents of issue two say legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana would cause huge problems, such as increased underage use of marijuana through candy and other edibles, increased number of impaired drivers on the road, increased chance of workplace injury and liability for employers and increased drug addiction and health problems associated with marijuana use.
Issue 2 supporters say that’s why it’s so important that Issue 2 passes, it would result in a safer and more regulated marijuana industry run by professionals.
“You need seasoned professionals to come in and lend credibility to the industry, so we’re here to help.” Beneleaves CEO Bill Williams said.
Beneleaves, a cannabis processor in Columbus, was started by Bill Williams, who ran a successful food company for many years.
Williams said medical marijuana has helped many people, and Ohio’s Issue 2 would not only help business, but also help a lot of people enjoy safe recreational use and still allow people to continue to use it as medicine.
“Right now in Ohio, we’re at about 180,000 patients but people have no idea what we’re doing and what we have available,” Williams said. “It’s all about awareness. Issue 2 is going to be fantastic for the people of Ohio. It’s going to welcome more people under our tent that’s not just for consumers, it’s also about people looking for a new career and a long-term career.”
Whether Issue 2 passes or not, Ohio’s medical marijuana industry says it continues to help everyone from cancer patients and others with physical pain to people who need it for mental health issues.
That part of the cannabis business is still providing many opportunities for business growth and better health for thousands of people.
“Right here we’re offering top-notch education across the board, so whether you want to get into the space as a business owner or have questions about using the meds as a patient, we have everything right here under one roof,” Berry said.
The summit runs through Saturday and features forums on medical marijuana and jobs in the industry, along with a clinic for those seeking an Ohio medical marijuana permit.
If you would like more information about Ohio Issue 2, click here.