LIMA — A growing number of people are discovering the benefits of medical marijuana and people want more information so they can make an informed choice.
In Lima, on Saturday, there was a cannabis seminar at the Lima Elks Club that explored a variety of positive ways cannabis can help individuals medically as well as what the hemp industry could bring to the area.
Six experts in the cannabis field were on hand to discuss the growing marijuana field.
“We have had a false stigma of the cannabis industry for several years in the United States and we’re here to make sure not only do they understand the positive attributes of the plant, but they understand the science of the medicine,” said Lisa Zwirner, director of education for the Cleveland School of Cannabis.
Many people discount the potential of hemp and cannabis.
“We’re trying to make Ohio aware that this is a legitimate industry, the medical cannabis industry as well as the hemp industry,” said Tim Johnson, of Cannabis Safety First.
The event was organized by Lima mayoral candidate Joshua Hayes, a self-proclaimed advocate of marijuana.
“The biggest message that I want people to see is that cannabis is a safe, natural plant that’s good for a variety of health ailments. There’s great opportunities in medical cannabis in Ohio right now. In its third year, the medical cannabis industry is looking at doing over a billion dollars in its third year. So there’s great opportunities for jobs, for new industry, for tax growth in our city through help and cannabis industry,” Hayes said.
Hayes believes Allen County is ready to welcome cannabis and hemp to the area.
“Hemp and the cannabis industry could have an amazing impact and we’re an agricultural community already. If you look at Allen County, a lot of the money that’s made is based off agricultural commodities. So we can be growing hemp. We can be developing processing facilities, turning that hemp into products like Hempcrete and hemp flooring, hemp wood, and we can take all those products that we made right here in Lima and build houses with them,” Hayes said.
Ohio is ready to add 73 more medical marijuana dispensaries and is looking at adding Autism spectrum disorder to the list of ailments medical marijuana can be used to treat.
There’s also a move to decriminalize marijuana crimes, something Hayes supports.
“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had run-ins with the law over cannabis. I’m sure if we did a show of hands here I’d say at least half the people here have. We’re not bad people. We’re not criminals.
“We’re just people that were using the medicine and that they (the law) decided that it’s something that they still want to prosecute and still want to make it against the law. So we’re here, standing up for our rights as citizens, standing up for the other people that may not have the opportunity to stand up for themselves or have a voice,” Hayes said.
A panel of advocates for marijuana and hemp were on hand Saturday for a cannabis seminar at the Lima Elks Club. The event was organized by Joshua Hayes, who is running for Lima mayor and has been supportive of medical marijuana.
Mayor candidate Josh Hayes talks at Lima’s Hemp and Cannabis Expo held at the Elks Lodge on Saturday afternoon. Amanda Wilson -The Lima News
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.