Ohio News Briefs

Ohio medical marijuana program to bring $11 million in fees

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A report says Ohio’s medical marijuana program will bring in about $11 million in fees even before the system is up and running.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that figure includes about $5.2 million in non-refundable application fees already collected from more than 650 prospective medical marijuana businesses.

The state will also collect about $2.6 million in licensing fees from 25 large and small cultivators who received provisional growing license, and another $2.6 million in annual license renewal fees from growers.

Ohioans with one of 21 medical conditions can legally buy and use medical marijuana if it’s recommended to them by a physician.

On Monday Ohio officials planned to announce where the 56 medical marijuana dispensaries will be located.

Demonstrators oppose plan to demolish closed Toledo church

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Politicians, residents and community activists are fighting a plan to demolish a long-shuttered Roman Catholic church in Ohio.

Demonstrators urged the Diocese of Toledo on Saturday to reconsider its decision to tear down St. Anthony Church, once the parish home for many Polish immigrants to the city.

The Blade reports that City Councilman Peter Ujvagi, himself a Hungarian refugee and immigrant, called the church’s decision “a sin.”

The paper says U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Toledo Democrat, promised to personally pay the cost of returning demolition equipment brought to the site.

The diocese says the building poses safety concerns and has promised to build a community center in its place. The diocese says it wasn’t made aware of interest in saving the building, closed in 2005, until recently.

Ohio waste district educates residents on proper recycling

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio solid waste district has launched a campaign to teach residents proper recycling techniques because of a growing amount of contaminated recyclables.

Christie Snyder is a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District in northeastern Ohio. She tells The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer that people have good intentions but have developed bad habits.

The paper says newspapers in plastic bags, greasy pizza boxes and jars still containing some peanut butter are all unacceptable. By some estimates one in four recyclables are rejected due to contamination.

The waste district and some waste recyclers in the greater Cleveland area have launched educational programs to explain what materials are acceptable for recycling and what needs to be thrown away.

Immigration cap, job rate, causing landscape worker shortage

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio landscapers say low unemployment rates, a cap on seasonal immigrant workers and drug use is causing a shortage of workers.

Sandy Munley is executive director of the Ohio Landscape Association. She tells the Akron Beacon Journal that difficulty getting seasonal workers “is a huge, huge issue this year.”

The paper reports that changes limiting the number of seasonal workers allowed into the country under the H-2B visa program have hurt landscaping companies.

The low unemployment rate also plays a role, as does the inability of many Ohio job applicants to pass a drug test, often because of marijuana use.

Joe Chiera owns Impact Landscape & Maintenance in Boston Heights in northeastern Ohio. He ended up hiring 15 people from Puerto Rico to fill his shortage.