Hemp manufacturing facility planned for Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood

September 13, 2018

Hemp manufacturing facility planned for Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A new company plans to open a manufacturing facility next June that would make hemp products – building materials, carpet and insulation, disposable straws and utensils, clothing and even CBD oil.

North Coast Natural Solutions will open the project in three phases, with the first one at 12735 Kirby Ave. -- across the street from the former industrial site of National Acme -- offering around 650 jobs, said Ty Williams, CEO of Level 5 Global Corp., a consulting and financial firm in Washington.

Williams said wages will start at $17 an hour – with benefits such as health insurance, on-site child care for all three shifts and paid training.

The project will initially use hemp plants grown in Kentucky and upstate New York. It will arrive in Cleveland in bundles or balls, looking similar to bales of hay.

Williams grew up in the Cleveland area and is excited about revitalization in the Glenville neighborhood, which suffers from low wages, and high unemployment and incarceration rates, he said Thursday afternoon during a meeting with the cleveland.com/Plain Dealer editorial board. 

“If we’re going to build it in their neighborhood, we have to make sure these people have an opportunity to get a job there,” he said.

Industrial hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the cannabis plant. The federal Farm Act of 2014 defines industrial hemp as containing 0.3 percent or less THC, a psychoactive component of the plant. People who grow industrial hemp use a cannabis plant that doesn’t have the buds or flowers present in marijuana. 

Williams is confident that the plant’s activities will be legal in Ohio, citing recent actions and legislation at the federal level and dismissing recent state guidance that CBD is still illegal in Ohio. He said the plant wouldn’t initially manufacture CBD oil. That will come in a later phase, he said.

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