• Suzanna Thallman

Judge Says Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Can Open

Updated: Nov 20, 2019


The Botanist Dispensaries in Ohio

Back in July of 2019 it was announced that Greenleaf Apothecaries, owner of "The Botanist" dispensary locations, was sent a notice by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP) for violating rules for the state's highly regulated program.


The OBP claims that Greenleaf Apothecaries transferred ownership of their five (5) dispensary locations without state approval. This was as a result of an announcement made by Acreage Holdings in December of 2018 declaring it had established a management agreement with Greenleaf Apothecaries. This agreement came in conflict with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program's rules, which states that ownership transfers are prohibited until after one year of operations.


The terms of the agreement between the two cannabis companies provided Greenleaf Apothecaries $8 million to build a cultivation facility, up to $5.5 million for a processing facility, and $10.5 million for the five Ohio dispensary locations. While Acreage Holdings has stated that they do no currently "hold an equity or ownership interest in the licensed operators," Greenleaf Apothecaries has agreed to sell all interests to Acreage Holdings when allowed by the state.


Open The Botanist Dispensary Locations

Greenleaf Apothecaries currently has two dispensary locations in Ohio that are operational: Canton and Wickliffe. Both dispensaries were one of the first operational dispensaries in Ohio!


The Botanist - Canton Dispensary

The Canton office is located at 3840 Greentree Avenue SW in Unit 4. According to The Botanist - Canton's menu, products currently available include flower (including CBD-dominant options), concentrated oil cartridges for vaporization, concentrates for vaporization, edibles (gummies), tinctures, and transdermal patches.


The Botanist - Canton carries cultivators such as Firelands Scientific, Calyx Peak ("Josh D." & "Song"), Standard Wellness ("The Standard"), Farkas Farms ("Bullseye Gardens"), Fire Rock Farms ("Woodward Fine Cannabis"), Wellspring Fields, Buckeye Relief, Cresco Labs and, the newest cultivator to hit the market, Ascension, with prices ranging from $35-$50 for an "Ohio Tenth" (2.83 grams).


With regards to processed products, the Canton location currently has Cure Ohio's oil cartridges for $125-$145; concentrates from Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect") and Wellspring Fields ranging from $84-$110; edibles from Buckeye Relief ("Wana"), Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect"), Standard Wellness ("The Standard"), and, most recently, Wellspring Fields, ranging from $46-$58; tinctures from Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect") ranging from $60-$120; and transdermal patches from Standard Wellness ("Manna") ranging from $13-$18.


The Botanist - Wickliffe Dispensary

The Wickliffe office is located at 30133 Euclid Avenue in Unit C. According to The Botanist - Wickliffe's menu, products currently available include flower (including CBD-dominant options), edibles (gummies), tinctures, transdermal patches, concentrated oil cartridges for vaporization, and concentrates for vaporization.


The Botanist - Wickliffe carries cultivators such as Firelands Scientific, Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect"), Calyx Peak ("Josh D." & "Song"), Farkas Farms ("Bullseye Gardens"), Fire Rock Farms ("Woodward Fine Cannabis"), Riviera Creek, Wellspring Fields, Buckeye Relief and Cresco Labs, with prices ranging from $28-$52 for an "Ohio Tenth" (2.83 grams).


With regards to processed products, the Canton location currently has Cure Ohio's CBD-dominant oil cartridges for $145; concentrates from Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect") and Wellspring Fields ranging from $70-$140; edibles from Buckeye Relief ("Wana"), Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect"), Standard Wellness ("The Standard"), and, most recently, Wellspring Fields, ranging from $46-$58; tinctures from Grow Ohio ("Butterfly Effect") ranging from $60-$120; and transdermal patches from Standard Wellness ("Manna") ranging from $13-$18 (or $60 for a 5-pack).


Judge Orders OBP To Award Certificate of Operation

The temporary halt by the State - although it surely affected The Botanist - primarily affected patients, as the Akron, Columbus, and downtown-Cleveland areas have dealt with a shortage of dispensary access. As Tom Haren, an attorney for Greenleaf, stated:

“Greenleaf is obviously frustrated by the board’s decision to issue these meritless notices, which have unnecessarily delayed the opening of three of the highest scoring dispensaries – in three of the state’s highest population centers – at a time when too many Ohio patients lack access to the medicine they need.”

This is why the news that Judge Nancy Fuerst ordered the OBP to award a certificate of operation to the Cleveland location is so consequential.* UPDATE* The Akron and Columbus locations are both now open as well.

However, questions still remain for The Botanist, as the OBP's allegations of ownership transfer has been yet been officially resolved and they are still able to appeal the judge's decision.


Ultimately, it will come down the OBP's final decision whether they grant approval to The Botanist - Cleveland location, and set the precedent that The Botanist should still be able to open these three (3) locations while this dispute is resolved. This would be a huge win for Ohio patients as only 26 of the 56 dispensaries that have been provisionally approved by the State have opened their doors to patients.


The Botanist's final three dispensary locations will be located at:

  1. Cleveland: 3865 Lakeside Avenue E. If the State awards The Botanist with a certificate of operation as a result of the judge's ruling, owners have stated that they can open in Cleveland as early as this week.

  2. Akron: 46 South Summit Street. Rumor is that this location is only about 2-3 weeks out from final approval.

  3. Columbus: 115 Vine Street.


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