As the state of Ohio enters the second year of its medical marijuana program, the Youngstown company that grows cannabis is launching two new products.
It's the hope of Riviera Creek Holdings that the industry, which got off to a slow start in 2019, will really take off in 2020.
In 2019, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program reported $56 million in sales. That was lower than what most analysts predicted.
"In November and December, we started to get a glimpse of what the industry can feel like for the patients."
Brian Kessler, Chairman of the Board for Riviera Creek Holdings, Youngstown's only medical marijuana grow facility, says that is encouraging news.
When the year ended, nearly 80,000 patients were registered and 46 dispensaries were open.
"Consumers are now able to get to stores within hopefully 15-20 minutes of where they live so they're not having to drive an hour to try and get medicine which most people just aren't going to do," said Kessler. "That has wound up helping move the industry forward."
To provide patients with a better experience, Riviera Creek has introduced two new products. One is a better package that comes with a bud box.
"The first thing it does is improve the freshness of the product. It keeps it fresher longer because we have a double airtight seal. What you do is open it and then inside is now the cannabis product," said Kessler. "On the bottom, we have all our information, so you have all the medical information you need about the product and it's airtight so it doesn't create odors in the room, it's a much nicer seal, keeps the product longer, better than anything that has been on the market before."
The company is also launching a vape pen that can come in two of its most popular products - Stambaugh Garlic Cookies and Gypsy Chocolope. Kessler says they can't keep it on the shelves.
"We can't keep it in stock. Every time we have a harvest, we're sold out in two weeks."
Kessler says what makes their vape pen unique is the product inside.