READY TO OPEN — Mike Petrella, owner and CEO of Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC medical marijuana dispensary located at 840 Canton Road, Wintersville, stands behind the counter of his shop during an open house Thursday night. The store will have its final inspection this week. — Amy Neeley
WINTERSVILLE — If all goes well with his final inspection this week, Mike Petrella hopes to open the doors to the public soon.
Petrella is owner and CEO of Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC medical marijuana dispensary located at 840 Canton Road.
Those wanting a sneak peek of the dispensary were invited to an open house at the shop Thursday night. The shop will be one of two in the village.
The other is CY-Plus owned by Cresco Labs Ohio and located at 180 Main St. CY-Plus was the first dispensary in the state to receive its license to open earlier this month.
“Not too many are open,” Petrella said. “We have our final inspection (this week) and then we hope to have product ready. I am getting at least 10 calls a day asking when we will be open, when will we have product.”
According to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, as of Dec. 24 they have had 4,440 recommendations in the patient and caregiver registry since opening to the public Dec. 3. Of those with a recommendation, 3,036 have activated their registry card and will be able to purchase the drug once the stores open for business.
Petrella explained a little of the process at the event Thursday.
Patients will enter into a lobby at the dispensary where they will be greeted by security and asked to complete needed paperwork as well as produce their registry card and photo identification. Once cleared, they will be escorted into the retail part of the shop where they will meet with a patient care specialist individually.
“Everyone will meet one-on-one and discuss their symptoms and what products best meet their needs,” Petrella said. “We have an excellent staff. They are up and ready to go.”
Petrella said the staff members have extensive knowledge in medical marijuana.
They have attended trainings and completed webinars on the industry.
Petrella said he has a pharmacist on his board of directors who has assisted in several of the trainings and worked with the employees.
Petrella said the response to his new business has been good thus far.
“It’s all been positive,” he said. “We have had elected politicians and police officers (intrigued). Patients or not, people are interested. This is a new frontier.”