State licenses marijuana dispensary in Goshen near New Philadelphia

GOSHEN TOWNSHIP — A Michigan man who formerly lived in New Philadelphia plans to open Tuscarawas County’s first medical marijuana dispensary just outside the city limits at 1145 W. High Ave. in Goshen Township.

Luke J. Marino of Belleville, Mich. owns 87% of Ratio Cannabis LLC, which received a provisional license Monday from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

“They have up to 270 days to construct and create a dispensary space that follows all state laws and program rules and regulations,” pharmacy board spokeswoman Kylynne Johnson wrote in an email. “Once they are inspected and receive approval from the Board, they are then allowed to operate.”

More:City limits: New Philadelphia City Council bans growing and selling medical marijuana

More:Ohio will have more than twice the number of medical marijuana dispensaries. Check out their locations

The location, currently a drive-through beverage store, is on an island of township property surrounded by land that lies within the municipal corporation of New Philadelphia, and in the city’s busy commercial corridor.

New Philadelphia City Council 2016 vote to outlaw medical cannabis processors, growers, and retail dispensariesFrom being operated anywhere within the city.

The announcement was made by the pharmacy board, which regulates dispensaries. recipients of 70 new licenses that were awarded via lottery, with a certain number allocated for each dispensary district containing a county or group of counties. About 230 different entities submitted nearly 1,500 applications for the chance at getting a license.

The board reviewed the applications to determine if they met security, business and patient care requirements. Dispensaries also can’t be within 500 feet of schools, churches, libraries and other facilities.

Over 261,000 patients are currently registered under the program, and nearly 138,000 had an active recommendation from a physician. Many have complained about high prices and needing to drive long distances to find deals or certain products.

Ohio currently has58 dispensaries licensed. Those closest to Tuscarawas County are in Canton, Coshocton and Wintersville.

Marino declined to discuss his planned dispensary with The Times-Reporter over the phone on Thursday because he would not take possession of the property until July 1. He made an appointment to speak with a reporter on May 27.

Ratio Cannabis LLC ApplicationThe state provides information about the company, including a list identifying key employees and their roles.

Marino, 41 years old, is the owner 87%. He is the chief executive officer and chief operations operations officers. He will not receive any compensation for his board membership, but he will be paid $50,000 for his position as CEO/COO. He will be eligible to vote for 40%. 

Paul A. Richmond, Dover Township, owns 13% in Ratio Cannabis. He will be able to vote 20% in the combined roles of officer and board member.

Accountant Scot A. Keller, 40 of Dover is to receive a $50,000 salary for monitoring, reporting and suggesting corrective or preventive measures about the company’s financial health and risk positions.

Michael S. Lumetta of Niles, Mich. will receive $3,000 annually and have 20% of the voting rights as a board member. 

Jon C. Fields, of Athens, pharmacist and general manager at Buckeye Botanicals, will receive $3,000 annually and 20% voting rights as a board member.

The license application required the disclosure of criminal, civil and administrative actions against key employees and any marijuana entity with which key employees were associated. 

Regarding Fields, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy alleged he obtained pharmaceutical drugs beyond the expressed or implied consent of the owner, dispensed and removed from the pharmacy more insulin than was authorized by the prescription and without paying the required copay costs. A settlement agreement was reached to resolve the 2012 charge. He agreed to pay $3,000 for continuing pharmacy education.

Lumetta’s disclosures included action by Michigan’s marijuana regulatory authority. He was associated with Trimed Sustainable Solution LLC, which failed to identify and track consistently marijuana product inventory in the statewide monitoring system in violation of that state’s administrative code. The 2020 complaint ended with a consent order and stipulation to pay $5,000. 

Lumetta was convicted of underage consumption or purchase of alcohol in a 2002 case.

Marino was convicted in 2005 of marijuana possession in New Philadelphia Municipal court.

Keller was convicted by the New Philadelphia Municipal Court in 2011 for operating a motor car while under the influence of alcohol. 

According to the application, the company has almost $1.7 million in capital available.

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Reach Nancy at 330-364-8402 or [email protected]

Follow @nmolnarTR on Twitter

Haley BeMiller of the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau contributed to this report.

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