Retired NFL Players Take The Next Step; Opening a Marijuana Dispensary

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The NFL has had plenty of players who’ve advocated for medical marijuana use, but in a new twist, two retired NFL players have applied for a license to start a dispensary in Cleveland.

Former quarterback Troy Smith, a Heisman winner who played for the 49ers, and former Browns player Eric Metcalf along with high school coach Ted Ginn Sr., want to secure the rights to a marijuana dispensary in the Cleveland area.

60 dispensary licenses will be awarded later this year, and they’re hoping they’ll get one of them. They’ve partnered with Jim Buchanan, a Seattle recreational marijuana store owner who used to live in Cleveland.

Smith has stated that the head trauma he’s received throughout his football career is what led him to medical marijuana, “Sports is a great thing to watch when you’re snacking on chicken wings, but it’s dead serious. We need to pay more attention to it and be more delicate.”

For Ginn, it was having survived pancreatic cancer that caused him to look at using marijuana to alleviate symptoms and pain.

Ginn said he sees a dispensary as a way to serve the community, both in alleviating medical conditions and providing jobs. He also said the dispensary would also help educate people about the medical benefits of marijuana.

The state must have the dispensaries up and running by September 2018, and Ohio is looking to finalize the terms and conditions to grow and sell medical marijuana by the end of the summer.

Buchanan said he’s not worried that Cleveland, Lakewood and other cities in Ohio still have moratoriums in place banning dispensaries, “Normally, when you don’t want to do it, they say they don’t want to do it. A moratorium is saying they want to see it unfold,” Buchanan said. “I can’t see Cleveland locking out medicine for a large community like that. That would create a huge problem.”