MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOCUS FOR ROTARY — Mike Petrella, local businessman and the owner and CEO of the Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC medical marijuana dispensary, spoke to members of the Steubenville Rotary Club Friday about his new business and the laws and regulations surrounding the venture. The dispensary, located at 840 Canton Road, Wintersville, was set to open on Sept. 8, but has been delayed, due to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program not being able to meet deadlines.
STEUBENVILLE — Mike Petrella, owner and CEO of Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC medical marijuana dispensary located at 840 Canton Road, Wintersville, spoke to members of the Steubenville Rotary Club about his new business venture and why it is a personal mission for him.
“We were on vacation when my father, Craig, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized,” he said while speaking during Friday’s luncheon meeting at the YWCA.
He went on to tell the group how his father was allergic to most narcotics and suffered severe side effects from the others.
“I thought there has to be a better way,” he said. “He had two brain surgeries in two days.”
Watching his father suffer inspired Petrella, who already was interested in medical marijuana, to begin seriously looking into the business. The same year his father died, the state passed the law allowing Ohio to enter into the industry.
The state is broken up into districts, with Jefferson County being located in Southeast Region 9 along with Harrison, Belmont and Monroe counties. The only dispensaries to be awarded were in Wintersville. The second dispensary is owned by Chicago-based Cresco Labs Ohio LLC and will be located at 180 Main St.
Petrella said the question he gets most often is, “Why two in Wintersville?”
“There were four applicants from our district,” he