Ohio officials have announced where the state's 56 medical marijuana dispensaries will be located.
Several of those dispensaries will be in the greater Cincinnati area.
The Board of Pharmacy handed out dispensary licenses in 28 geographic districts Monday. The dispensaries will be allowed to sell to qualified, registered patients who have received recommendations from a state-approved list of doctors.
Jimmy Gould got the call on Monday that his company CannAscend Alternative was awarded four licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries.
"I'm gratified today," he said. "I feel like it's something I worked really hard for."
His fight to bring medical marijuana to Ohio started five years ago. Now it's becoming a reality with plans to build dispensaries in Marietta, Logan, Dayton and in Monroe. The facility in Monroe will be located on North Main Street, which will be called Strawberry Fields Monroe Dispensary. Gould says the new business venture is more than about making money but improving lives.
Smoking medical marijuana is still illegal in Ohio. Dispensaries can sell edibles, oils and vaping concentrates to patients with more than 20 different conditions.
"For me, I've lost a lot of members of my family to cancer. My mom, my brother-in-law died a couple of years ago when we were first into this," said Gould.
He says bringing medical marijuana to the state is a game changer.
"People who suffer from cancer and chemotherapy they're able to sleep, they're able to eat. They're able to get a quality of their life back that even if it doesn't cure their cancer it makes them feel better and gives them the ability to get through this," he said.
The dispensary in Monroe will sit next to a coffee shop, a fitness center and restaurant. Some people we spoke with don't want the business in their neighborhood but others are OK with it.
"I feel it's a good idea anything we can explore with medicine to help people get them better relieve pain and get them away from opioids it's a good idea," said Michael Warmouth, a Monroe resident.
The following local businesses were approved to sell medical marijuana:
The Ohio medical marijuana program is supposed to be fully operational by Sept. 8. Gould says he hopes to have his business up and running before the end of the year. See the full list of dispensary locations highlighted in green here. Dispensaries are not allowed to be located less than 500 feet from schools and churches.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press and WXIX. All rights reserved.