Marijuana legalization backers plan SW Ohio grow facility

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, marijuana grows at a medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The backers of a failed state ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use are now proposing a large medical marijuana growing facility in southwestern Ohio.

The growing and manufacturing operation in Wilmington would be contingent on the backers getting one of the limited licenses for large growing facilities under Ohio’s new medical marijuana program expected to begin next year.

Local officials are supporting their plan to start with a 25,000-square-foot facility on a 19-acre property and potentially expand later.

The businessmen behind the proposal include Jimmy Gould and Ian James, who ran the ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization effort that voters defeated in 2015.

Gould tells the Dayton Daily News the Wilmington marijuana operation would employ about 220 people and represent a $45 million investment.

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