A Look Inside A Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility In Ohio
Ever since the medical marijuana Ohio bill (HB 523) was passed in 2016, prospective mmj patients have been eagerly anticipating when Ohio's medical marijuana patient registry would go online and dispensaries would finally open. That moment is just around the corner now as cultivators are nearing the final stages of their first cannabis harvest. WCPO in Cincinnati got an inside peek into a marijuana cultivation facility, Cresco Labs, located in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
“We look forward to bringing awareness about this program and to helping eliminate the age-old stigma associated with marijuana,” CEO Charlie Bachtell told WCPO. “We want it to just be called medicine.”
Check out the video below for a look inside the facility:
What Is Marijuana Cultivation?
Cresco Labs is one of over a dozen cultivation facilities located throughout Ohio. Many of these cultivators are nearing harvest as well. Medical marijuana cultivation facilities are a necessary step in order for patients to receive the highest potency, best quality marijuana they can buy.
Marijuana grown in cultivation facilities must comply with strict regulations and guidelines, and must be tested for purity, so no toxic pesticides, spores, bugs or leaf infections are present. Marijuana grown in cultivation facilities can also be processed into other forms of mmj, including edibles, oils, waxes, creams and tinctures. The same goes for recreational marijuana that is grown in cultivation facilities where marijuana is completely legal.
Is Medical Marijuana Different From Marijuana?
Technically, marijuana is marijuana. The cannabis plant contains many chemical compounds but the two primary compounds are THC and CBD. Nearly every marijuana plant you will find on the planet has both of these compounds in some capacity (even hemp has about .1% THC). And every plant has the capability of providing relief to patients. However, not all marijuana is equal, and many are downright shoddy ... what some may refer to as 'Snicklefritz .'
Marijuana purchased illegally from a friend or dealer may have unknown, or sketchy, origins. You could be unknowingly contributing to gangs or terror groups throughout the world. Or the weed could have been treated with toxic pesticides. Buds can even sprayed with the same chemicals used to make synthetic drugs like K2 or Spice in order to increase potency. Naturally, this isn't every case, and many illegal operations are home grows prepared by passionate budtenders.
However, medical (or recreational) marijuana grown in a cultivation facilities must adhere to strict standards. These buds are also better curated to a patients' needs. For example, some plants will be curated to be high in CBD to help treat patients suffering from migraines, PTSD or seizures. Other strains will focus on a high THC potency to increase the appetite of cancer patients, or to provide euphoria to those suffering from chronic pain or severe depression.
As mentioned above, marijuana grown in cultivation facilities can be processed into high potency medicines, from edibles and creams to tinctures. These can be used orally, topically or sublingually for faster relief.
Processing facilities can also extract specific hydrocarbons called terpenes, or essential oils, within the cannabis chemical compounds. These can be used to target and treat specific ailments. Other essential oils can be added to these terpenes to aide in anti-inflammation and mood enhancement.
While medical marijuana and traditional marijuana are both ostensibly marijuana, medical marijuana is a better option for people seeking medical treatment with their cannabis.
Is Home Grown Marijuana Different From Medical Marijuana?
Several states now allow patients to grow their own marijuana at home, which can ease the burden for patients who don't live near a dispensary. Some states even allow this marijuana to be sold to dispensaries, like farmers at a Farmer's Market. Alas, Ohio frustratingly prohibits both actions, leaving cultivation facilities as the only options for patients (at this time).
While many passionate hobbyists may be frustrated to learn that their favorite hobby, growing marijuana, is still illegal in Ohio, it is possible to cultivate potent, high quality marijuana from home. Doing thorough research, adhering to the same rules and regulations as the mmj industry, and with a keen eye for growing cannabis, home grown marijuana can be no different than marijuana grown in a cultivation facility.
That being said, cultivation staffs are replete with some of the best, most knowledgeable botanists out there -- people with decades of experience growing and cultivating high quality marijuana. So while home grows are a good alternative for some patients (in states where it is legal), most patients will likely prefer marijuana grown and curated by large cultivators, ensuring they get the exact strain of marijuana, with the right amount of active chemical compounds, to treat their ailment.
What Happens Next With Ohio Medical Marijuana?
Now that cultivators are harvesting cannabis, and processing and testing facilities are going online, it shouldn't be very long until the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program opens their doors for patients with doctor-authorized mmj recommendations to register.
If you have not yet received your medical marijuana recommendation, click here to find out if you qualify, or give Ohio Marijuana Card a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team will set you up with an appointment.