Kelly Byer | THE CANTON REPOSITORY — The former site of nightclubs at the corner of Cherry Avenue and Fourth Street NE will have new life as a medical cannabis dispensary.
Klutch Cannabis hosted an open house Friday for its soon-to-be second dispensary, The Citizen, at 401 Cherry Ave. NE. The company, which has a cultivation and processing facility in Akron, opened its first dispensary and the state’s first dispensary drive-thru in Lorain earlier this year.
Founder and CEO Adam Thomarios said the Cherry Avenue building took longer to renovate than anticipated because of structural issues, such as rotting floor joists and a sagging second floor. After “top to bottom” repairs, the building now features a wood floor lobby with black lounge chairs opposite a television.
The room where cannabis plant, edible, concentrate and other products will line the walls has digital kiosks that display information about each item by reading a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag. Patients can place an order on the kiosks and, in the future, Thomarios said he’d also like to add a drive-thru pickup.
“We’re really happy to be in Canton,” he said, recognizing the increasing activity downtown.
The dispensary is blocks away from Centennial Plaza and the future Marriott hotel being developed at the Renkert Building.
The exact opening date has yet to be determined as The Citizen awaits its certificate of operation from the state. Then there’s the delivery of products and final preparations, but Thomarios said he hopes to open next week.
That announcement will be emailed to The Citizen’s existing patient database and posted at citizenbyklutch.com.
The Canton dispensary has a staff of about 20 and five security personnel, Thomarios said. Some training was done at the already-open Lorain dispensary.
He noted that the Canton dispensary is the city’s first, entirely Ohio-owned one ― existing dispensaries are owned or partnered with multi-state operators. Klutch Cannabis also has applied to operate in Florida, he added.
Several city administrators and officials attended the open house and complimented the renovated space.
“They’ve done a fantastic job,” said Canton Council President William V. Sherer II.
Sherer, who also is the Democratic candidate for Canton mayor, said the dispensary will be an asset to downtown and hopefully bring more jobs in the future.
Councilwoman Brenda Kimbrough, D-2, who represents the downtown ward, said she welcomes the new business. The state of the building has drastically improved since her last visit, and she was glad to see historical photos of the Canton Bulldogs and other local landmarks on the wall.
“There’s history in these bricks, and they kept that integrity,” Kimbrough said.