Stepping into the small vestibule, visitors are immediately struck by a slightly musty, slightly skunky odor that provides a redolent clue about what’s happening there.
The next clue: An employee takes your identification from behind bulletproof glass and doesn’t give it back until you leave.
Welcome to Eastlake-based Buckeye Relief LLC, the first large marijuana cultivator granted permission by the state to begin growing pot for Ohio’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. The company expects to harvest Ohio’s first legal marijuana at newly built, multi-million dollar state-of-the-art facility sometime in December.
Visitors allowed access to Buckeye Relief’s equally secure growing rooms must wear plastic Tyvek suits to prevent plants from being contaminated. Employees don medical scrubs before entering.
“I’m at the front end of a fascinating and exciting business,” majority owner Andy Rayburn said last week. “The bottom line is, it is actual, helpful medicine. The stories are in abundance.”