When a group of young entrepreneurs first approached the City of Norwalk with plans for a $20 million dollar medical marijuana cultivation facility, many here in the Maple City said that it would never happen. Six months later, it’s happening. Only our city will not see the positive economic results.
According to a recent article in the Sandusky Register, Standard Wellness was one of a dozen companies issued cultivation licenses within the State of Ohio. This is the same company that had committed to a purchase option on an industrial property in Norwalk weeks before Mayor Rob Duncan shocked proponents with a controversial veto. The decision to welcome Standard Wellness came by way of a 4-3 vote, with council members Chris Castle and Kelly Beck being joined by Samantha Wilhelm and Deb Lucal in favor of the ordinance. David Wallace, Chris Mushett and Steve Schumm opposed the original legislation.
Along with the news that Standard Wellness has been approved by the state, the recent Sandusky Register article also revealed that OPC Cultivation will open a similar facility on Rye Beach Road, in the City of Huron. That facility is expected to generate approximately 72 new jobs and $20 million in new construction investments.
Considering that our city is anticipating deficit spending of more than $850,000 in 2018, it seems that Huron and other municipalities will soon be reaping the rewards that we could have used to pay for roads, parks, and police and fire protection. Maybe there will be another silver bullet that presents itself in the future, but as we watch neighboring communities benefit from one that so recently threw itself at our doorstep, the City of Norwalk has to wonder if we will watch our leaders shoot that one down as well.