RIVERSIDE, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Riverside is divided over a proposed marijuana cultivation plant. Supporters say it will create jobs, but critics say it’s not the right fit for the neighborhood.
Wednesday, the public got the chance to give their input at the Riverside City Council meeting.
The Air Force Museum is a landmark in the Miami Valley, but soon it could have a new neighbor–a marijuana cultivation plant.
“We don’t want manufacturing there,” resident Crystal Farris said. “This is a residential neighborhood.”
“We’re going after jobs,” City of Riverside Economic Development Director Bob Murray said. “It’s dead simple”
Pot has the City of Riverside split. Wednesday, Murray presented plans before the City Council and the public, proposing a new marijuana cultivation plant.
The 25,000 square foot facility would employ 50 people with an average yearly salary of $45,000.
“This is a brand new industry,” Murray said. “There’s not people around to do it. So it’s a huge opportunity for a select group of people to do this.”
The shaded black section on the left side of the map is where the plant would be built. The plant would operate solely as a marijuana grow operation.
Plants would be grown and then sold to processors–who then sell the marijuana to dispensaries. Murray insists the plant would be safe for the area.
“There are no windows that are open,” Murray said. “They’re not relying on sunlight. It is enclosed. It’ll be a new looking building to that location so it will add some class and decor.”
But, Crystal Farris isn’t sold on the idea.
“We don’t want this around our children,” Farris said. “There’s a park there. We also have homes back there.”
Farris lives just steps from where the plant would be built. She says she worried about the impact this could have on her home insurance and claims it could cost her to lose her coverage.
“My insurance company told me, if they put that in there that devalues your home. If our devaluation goes down,” Farris said. “They will drop our insurance.”
The council is expected to vote on the matter in two weeks.