Medical marijuana products from Buckeye Relief are one step closer to being available to patients with a medical referral.
The Eastlake facility started its first harvest of the medical plants on Dec. 6.
Trained employees at the facility will spend the next several days cutting, trimming and preparing to dry the buds on an estimated 1,300 plants.
The plants were started in August immediately after the company received its cultivators license. The planting was staggered in three-week increments so the facility will be able to harvest approximately every three weeks.
The harvest process involves the cutting down of the entire plant which is then weighed.
Following weighing, the plants are moved to a trim room where where the buds and leaves are removed from the stem. Leaves and stems are discarded, and the buds are laid on tray to dry. The dried buds will be sent to dispensaries for sell.
The product currently being harvested will go through several drying cycles that last seven to 10 days before being packaged sent out to dispensaries in Ohio.
The first harvest is a little more involved than the following harvests will be as employees have to separate and discard any male plants.
Buckeye Relief uses only female plants to ensure quality of product. By eliminating the male plants, the risk of pollination and seeds in the buds is eliminated, according to Leslie Brandon, of Buckeye Relief.
Future crops will be sown from clones of these first plants to ensure consistency in providing the best possible products for patients, Brandon said.
Buckeye Relief expects to have its first batch or products ready to distribute to dispensaries in mid January.