Medical pot growing facility seeks Bethel Twp. location


By Melanie Yingst - myingst@aimmediamidwest.com



BETHEL TOWNSHIP — The Bethel Township board of trustees advised residents that a proposed small-sized medical marijuana growing operation soon may be located in the township.

On July 31, the Ohio Department of Commerce approved the first state-inspected medical marijuana growing facility in Eastlake near Cleveland.

The operation has not passed an inspection. Jason Wilson, Chief Operations Officer of Paragon Development Group, recently purchased a 10,000-square-foot business building at 9292 S. State Route 201, Bethel Township for $269,000 on July 23. Currently, the proposed site for the marijuana cultivation facility is in the final planning stages, according to township officials. The group was approved as a Level II Cultivator Provisional License recipient by the state of Ohio in November 2017. A level II cultivator is a small-scale growing operation will cultivation of plants up to 3,000 square feet of space.

According to Bethel Township administrator Andy Ehrhart, the township trustees never placed a ban or moratorium on the cultivation, processing or dispensing of medical marijuana within Bethel Township, like many Miami County townships and cities when it first became legal in September 2016.

“(Bethel Township) didn’t pass a ban and they are legally zoned to be there; there’s really nothing we can do at all,” Ehrhart said.

Paragon Development Group LLC attempted to located the business in Huber Heights, according to its application online with the Department of Commerce. Troy Daily News attempted to contact a representative by phone listed on the application, but the company had not responded as of press time.

Ehrhart said the 10,000-square-foot facility didn’t need to have a public notice or rezoning application since proposed cultivation site is currently zoned light industrial. Ehrhart said the company would have to comply with state laws regarding security and other restrictions. There will be no processing, laboratories or dispensing of medical marijuana at the proposed site.

The former business was a forklift maintenance shop. The owners have been in contact with township officials, but all proposed alterations to the facility will be to the interior of the building, Ehrhart said.

According to township’s post on its website, “Ohio law requires cultivation facilities to be located indoors under tight security. There will be no road signage indicating that it is a medical marijuana cultivating facility. The cultivation facility will be housed within the existing building in a “building within a building.”’

The Bethel Township post on its social media also said, “There will be no increased traffic, no emissions, no increased sheriff requirements, etc.; Bethel Township will receive a small percentage of the profits per Ohio Revised Code requirements; and This is a cultivation operation and there will be no on-site consumption or distribution in Bethel Township.”

Ehrhart said the township has received several phone calls about the proposed facility, with “mixed feedback.”

Ehrhart confirmed a representative from the Paragon Development Group is expected to attend the Bethel Township Trustee meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14. The meeting is open to the public. The township building is located at 8735 S. Second St., Tipp City, in the village of Brandt.

To review Paragon Development Group LLC’s current 131-page application and business plan as it pertained to their former site in Huber Heights, visit https://medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov.

By Melanie Yingst

myingst@aimmediamidwest.com