ELYRIA — The first medical marijuana dispensary in Lorain County is expecting to open by mid-February. All the decor and furnishings are in place, but it is awaiting the approval of the city and the state, as well as the arrival of product.
Kayla Greenberg, general manager of Clubhouse Dispensary at 709 Sugar Lane, said it could have opened today if it had final approval.
Of the three dispensaries in Lorain County, Clubhouse is the closest to opening. Elyria City Council’s Community Development Committee recommended the conditional use permit for the property Monday.
The dispensary still has three readings by City Council and a public hearing before final approval, Law Director Scott Serazin said. After that, the dispensary will need one last final approval from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
The 4,500-square-foot dispensary has a parking area and a single glass door for entering and exiting. The staff includes 20 to 25 employees including consultants, or “bud tenders,” full-time security, a general manager, an assistant manager, compliance officers and bookkeepers.
Clients pass through a short hallway to a lobby with seating and a desk where they will check in to the dispensary. When checking in, they will need to give their personal information and produce their medical marijuana identification cards.
Eventually, the client will join other clients in the showroom, where they will be accompanied at all times by a bud tender. While in the room, they can look at different marijuana varieties under glass display boxes on eight tables. Under supervision, clients can smell and touch the samples on display.
The showroom also has an ATM and three monitors to display the marijuana varieties available. Edibles are not available yet, but could be in the next three months, Greenberg said. If the clients have any more questions about medical marijuana, they can go to a small consultation room where their bud-tender can educate them on anything more they need.
Once they’ve had all their questions answered and made a selection, they can approach the counter and pick up their prescribed marijuana. After picking up their marijuana, clients will return to the lobby to check out and leave. Greenberg said clients will need to show their medical marijuana identification card during checkout, while meeting with the consultant and during checkout.
Greenberg has worked in the cannabis industry for four years in Colorado as a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary manager. She said she loves her job and feels happy to be involved in bringing the cannabis industry to Ohio. Although some may fear about having marijuana available publicly, Greenberg insists the dispensary will be a benefit, not a hindrance.
“We’re not going to be a problem at all, we’re going to be the best neighbors that we can be,” she said. “Our security is pretty great. I just don’t think we’ll be any trouble.”
Security is an important issue at the dispensary, and Greenberg said the dispensary is well-prepared. The property has a security system and number pad access module for every door. There are security cameras and motion sensors inside and outside the building. A security guard also will be at the front desk of the dispensary with a monitor of all camera feeds.
At least one private security guard will be stationed during the open hours for the dispensary. Greenberg said the business has a close relationship with the Elyria Police Department. But the dispensary can tighten security even further if it needs to, Greenberg said.
Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely said the dispensary does have products that people want, but if treated like any pharmacy, the same principles should apply.
“This is a new thing for us, but we’ve already had several pharmacies in the city and the history of these dispensaries is the security that they have is really good,” he said.
The qualifying medical conditions that are allowed to be treated using medical marijuana are HIV/AIDS; Alzheimer’s disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS; cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or other seizure disorders; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is chronic and severe or intractable; Parkinson’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis.
For more information or to find a certified doctor to recommend medical marijuana, visit www.medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov or call the toll-free helpline at (833) 464-6627, or by email at MMCPRegistry@pharmacy.ohio.gov.
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