"We went into it with an open mind," [Eastlake mayor Dennis] Morley says. "I sat down with my police chief and my fire chief, and if they hadn't been on board there wouldn't have been any more discussions. They understand the difference between the medical and the recreational. We've really not found anything that's been negative, from our end as a city."
Rayburn's initial annual payroll is estimated at $1.5 million across 30 jobs. "We fully expect to double, triple or quadruple," he adds. His is one of the "tier-1" 25,000-square-foot facilities, where Buckeye will grow marijuana and then extract its oils and process them for tincture and edible production. The law will not allow patients to smoke marijuana, but rather consume the plant's active cannabinoids through oils (vaping), tinctures, patches or edibles.
Briefly, here's how the cultivation process works — and why Rayburn and others argue that it's best to have these things happening on the same property: Marijuana plants are cultivated in staggered groups that include various varieties or strains. A portion of the plants will be trimmed down to flower, to be sold through dispensaries. Most of the plant will go to extraction and refinement for the end oil product, to be sold for direct consumption through vape pens and for edible processing.
Different strains are grown in different rooms in different, staggered structures. Think lighting levels, air flow, temperature control, "fertigation," pest control. "It's a really, really complicated growing process," Rayburn says. He's traveled to more than 100 cultivation facilities, from Colorado westward, where the markets are more mature, to get a sense of direction.