It’s been a slog, but Huron-based Firelands Scientific became the state’s 53rd active medical marijuana dispensary upon the opening of its first storefront this week.
With its own retail component online, Firelands is now officially a vertically integrated marijuana company, which means it manages operations in cultivation, processing and dispensing. All Firelands facilities are clustered around a business campus at Huron Corporate Park off of Rye Beach Road (the dispensary’s address is 2344 University Drive E).
Firelands, which is led by founder/CEO (and former Benesch attorney) Jeff McCourt, was originally slated to open a dispensary at an old Burger King on Cleveland Road in Huron a couple years back. Plans to do so were OK’d by state regulators.
As reported by The Sandusky Register, however, following local pushback, Huron City Council moved to ban any dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, library or church.
At issue was the proposed shop’s proximity to Woodlands Intermediate School.
State laws already prohibit marijuana dispensaries from operating with 500 feet of schools. But the location near Woodlands, while outside that range, was still deemed problematic for some in the community. The resolution passed by council that doubled the state’s 500-foot requirement blocked the dispensary from opening at its original site.
Firelands worked with state and local officials to identify a new site. It ultimately opted to build its own building near its Level I cultivation and processing facilities at Huron Corporate Park.
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy, which regulates dispensaries, was not moving fast enough on approving plans for that site, though — at least not to Firelands’ satisfaction. The company sued the city and the board for potential business losses due to delays with garnering the requisite approvals.
In fall 2019, those issues were settled. Firelands dropped its claims for damages and