Despite Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Industry’s Rocky Start, Job Excitement Grows

By Marcia Pledger
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As columnist Marcia Pledger points ou, it is going to take some time for state-licensed medical marijuana facilities to get growing. With that said, there is plenty of enthusiasm for what could be a booming business in the future.

CLEVELAND, Ohio

HempStaff, specializing in medical marijuana recruiting and dispensary training, is selling out on training classes nationwide for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry, and Cleveland is no exception.

But some experts say it may be too early to get excited. With just more than a dozen medical marijuana licenses recently awarded in Ohio and unsuccessful applicants filing lawsuits, it’s going to take some time for state-licensed medical marijuana facilities to get growing.

In the rapidly evolving world of legalized marijuana, later this fall some of Ohio’s sickest residents should be able to use state-issued identification cards to shop at local dispensaries for medical marijuana products including oils, tinctures (alcohol-based cannabis extracts), plant material, edibles and patches.

In the past two years, hundreds of new regulations have been crafted and dozens of entrepreneurs have invested millions for their chance to break into the budding industry. Meanwhile, a new effort is afoot to make the drug legal for recreational use — a reality in eight other states.

But one thing is certain, no matter who you talk to — from pundits and opponents to experts studying various parts of the marijuana business — Ohioans can expect to see new business opportunities and jobs.

James Yagielo, a North Ridgeville native and CEO of HempStaff, is hosting two four-hour crash courses on March 30 at the Embassy Suites in Independence. He said his sold-out training classes indicate that people are eager to be part of this new industry.

Students, who pay $250 each, learn the basics about what kind of cannabis products would match up best with each patient’s ailments. So far, he said, the company has trained 3,900 students in 18 states.

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