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Johnstown, Ohio – Now that Ohio has legalized medical marijuana, dozens of businesses are lining up to cash in.

Andy Joseph’s Apeks Supercritical is one of them. The Licking County company, which sells fully automated machines that extract oils from plants – including from cannabis – gets a bump each time a state legalizes marijuana. A big bump.

Apeks Supercritical has seen its revenues climb from $700,000 in 2012 to $12 million last year. Apeks sells about 150 of its oil-extracting machines each year – all outside Ohio.

That may change now that the Ohio General Assembly has given a green light to medical marijuana. State officials say it still will be about two years before Ohioans with serious medical conditions can begin buying the product, but they’re not the only ones counting the days.

Ohio-based manufacturers of growing lights, greenhouses, plant oil extraction systems, packaging, trans-dermal patches, and more are awaiting state regulators to write rules, certify doctors and patients, and license growers and dispensaries for medical marijuana.

Gary Johnson, Jr., owner of Pelican Technologies in Dayton, a software development firm founded in 2006, is lobbying state regulators to require RFID – radio frequency identification – tracking of medical marijuana seedlings to final sales. Pelican Technologies’ hand-held RFID readers and its Agracount software program are sold in the legal marijuana market in Colorado, he said.

Mr. Johnson said he wants to sell his system to state regulators as well as growers, processors, and dispensaries.

“Certainly, we see that as a growth opportunity. We want to provide not just the growers but the state with the technology to make sure the product is accurately tracked,” Mr. Johnson said.

Cincinnati-based Rough Brothers Inc., which designs and sells commercial greenhouses, already sells medical marijuana greenhouses to growers in other states and expects to add Ohio to its list once the program is underway.

“It’s a good business. It’s probably about 15 percent, something like that,” said Tom Vezdos, the company’s vice president of commercial greenhouses. The medical marijuana greenhouses run from $20,000 to $8 million and can be anywhere from 3,000 square feet to 200,0000 square feet, he said.

Apeks Supercritical’s Mr. Joseph has plans to sell his extraction systems in Ohio, but he also wants to expand into the processing side of the marijuana industry.

He has been working with Johnstown, Ohio, officials to roll out the red carpet for the legal marijuana industry, arguing that being among the first local jurisdictions to do so will give the village a competitive advantage.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
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Photo Credit: Associated Press
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