OH: Gibsonburg – Tax Abatement Approved For Medical Marijuana Facility

Photo Credit: Ricardo Arduengo

An enterprise zone agreement for a medical marijuana facility to be constructed in the Village of Gibsonburg provides a 75 percent abatement on property taxes for 10 years on the planned 55,000-square-foot facility.

The Sandusky County commissioners last week approved the agreement with the village and Standard Wellness Co., a Hudson-Ohio company that is planning to invest about $7.2 million in a building to house its manufacturing operations and administration office.

The company is agreeing to create 37 full-time and six part-time jobs over the next three years and retain the positions over the next 10. State law requires the company to pay the abated taxes if during any three-year period it doesn’t retain at least 75 percent of the work force.

Standard Wellness is estimating the annual payroll to be just under $2 million.

The company is one of the applicants to be awarded a Level 1 license from the Ohio Department of Commerce last year to grow medical marijuana.

Standard Wellness “… is estimated to supply 1,250 pounds of cultivated medical marijuana flower product to the market in 2019, ramping to about 7,000 pounds in 2023. We expect that our state-of-the-art greenhouse and advanced cultivation techniques for production will allow for 0.5 pounds of medical marijuana yield per square foot of flowering canopy per year,” the application to the state says.

Last May, village council approved an ordinance that ended a 12-month moratorium on granting any permits for cultivating or processing medical marijuana in the village but it still prohibits any retail dispensary.

Mayor Steve Fought said at the time that prohibiting the local sale of medical marijuana made ending the moratorium more palatable to the public.

The mayor said he and members of council felt more comfortable about the proposal after hearing a presentation by the company and after familiarizing themselves with regulations set in place by the state.

A law legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio went into effect in September 2016. The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program allows people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of an Ohio-licensed physician certified by the State Medical Board, to purchase and use medical marijuana. It may be dispensed as oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches. The law prohibits smoking marijuana but allows vaporization.

While the legislation sets a format for the program, it left the task of establishing specific rules and guidelines for the cultivation, processing, testing, dispensing and medical use of marijuana to state agencies.

Standard Wellness expects to start construction next month and to be operating by Sept. 8, Erik Vaughan, chief executive officer, said last week.

He expects the company to have about 25 employees by the end of the year.