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Proposed medical marijuana dispensary sites draw mixed reactions

  • Marijuana-Medicine-1

    Marijuana plants are displayed at a dispensary in Berkeley, Calif. on Feb. 14. The state of Ohio is moving toward a medical marijuana operation, and 18 sites in Lorain County are under consideration for one of three dispensaries.

    MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ / AP

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ELYRIA — Local businesses have mixed feelings about the 18 medical marijuana dispensary applicants in the Lorain County area.

In less than a month, three of the 18 applicants for medical marijuana dispensaries will be awarded a license somewhere in Lorain County. The dispensary applicants listed possible locations in Elyria, Lorain and Sheffield Lake.

The businesses closest to some of the locations of the applicants have varying reactions to the possibility.

Elyria

James Endrizzi, owner of Endrizzi’s Martial Arts on 603 Cleveland St., has been tolerant, albeit hesitant, about the possibility of a dispensary in the same building as his dojo.

“As long as they don’t advertise it to children … but if it’s legal, it’s legal,” he said.

The dispensary applicant, AFS Cultivation LLC, applied for a location at 603 Cleveland St., the same building Endrizzi’s business is located.

When the addresses of the applicants first were publicized in November and December, Endrizzi said, he was told by a student’s mother who read the article. Endrizzi said she took her 4-year-old out of his class.

Endrizzi started in martial arts in 1969 and opened his first martial arts store in 1983 on Temple Court. He set up his business on Cleveland Street seven months ago and has 15 to 19 students, ages 5 to 58.

Lorain

Six applicants, a third of the applicants in the county, have applied to open a dispensary on the 1900 block of Cooper Foster Park Road. The block has multiple shopping centers and a vacant building the applicants are hoping to obtain.

Johanna Mann, owner of Mama Jo Homestyle Pies, said she’s open to the idea of medical marijuana, understanding its value and health benefits. However, she felt concerned of anything beyond that at this time.

“I just hope that it doesn’t get out of control, that’s all I’m hoping for,” she said.

Mama Jo Homestyle Pies is in the Amherst Plaza Shopping Center, across the street from the land parcels the applicants requested. The store has been a family-owned and -operated business for more than 20 years.

Meanwhile, Tim Kiedrowski, owner of Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery at 2267 Cooper Foster Park Road, said he’s very happy to have the dispensary near his business.

“I have always kept an open mind with everything in business, so if this helps individuals who are sick then I’m all for it,” he said.

Tim and Terry Kiedrowski founded Kiedrowski’s Simply Delicious Bakery in 1984 as a Polish-American bakery.

Sheffield Lake

The only Sheffield Lake dispensary applicant, Marabis Ohio LLC, is looking to move into the Shoreway Shopping Center on East Lake Road.

Shelia Kepic, owner of Exclusive Balloons, said she’s indifferent to the possibility of a dispensary in the same Shoreway Shopping Center as her business.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect my business at all,’’ she said.

The store provides balloon art and d←cor and has operated for 20 years. The store set up in the shopping center in February 2013.

Grant Miller, spokesman for the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, said the licenses awarded to those applicants will be announced by early May.

A retail dispensary is prohibited from being within 500 feet of a school, church, public library, public playground, public park or community addiction services provider, according to state law. In addition, cities, villages and townships can prohibit or limit the number of retail dispensaries.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or by email at bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook at @BWalton440 or on Twitter @BruceWalton.


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