By Diane Smith Reporter
Any potential medical marijuana dispensaries in Ravenna must pay thousands of dollars in fees every year to stay in business, according to an ordinance approved by Ravenna City Council Monday.
The ordinance, approved with little discussion at a special council meeting, establishes fees for those who apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license, apply for renewal of that license, as well as a license fee of $25,000 each year. Additional fees apply if gross sales of the business exceed $1.25 million a year, according to the ordinance.
Councilman Bruce Ribelin said council discussed and “tweaked” the ordinance based on similar laws on the books in other Ohio cities, as well as input from Law Director Frank Cimino.
“We’re trying to get going on this because deadlines are coming from the state of Ohio regarding this matter,” he said.
Ravenna’s ordinance calls for a $350 non-refundable “application and investigation” fee for every application for a new dispensary license in the city, plus a $250 fee for application of renewal of that license.
In addition, every application granted a license to operate a dispensary in Ravenna will pay an annual fee of $25,000, plus 1.5 percent of profits when gross sales exceed $1.25 million.
The state’s medical marijuana program is expected to be up and running by September of this year. Once the program is in place, Ohioans with one of 21 medical conditions will be able to buy and use medical marijuana if it is recommended by their doctors.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has issued licenses for medical marijuana cultivation businesses in Ohio, including one issued to FN Group Holdings, doing business as Wellspring Fields. The cultivation facility will be located on Lake Rockwell Road in Ravenna Township. Claire Hobson of FN Group Holdings also was one