“I’m in construction, and I build buildings. I’m in medical marijuana and I build people. I build people’s quality of life, and I look at it the same way,” she said.

Kirkpatrick is the first owner of a vertically-integrated cannabis company in Ohio, and is the first black woman licensed to grow and dispense medical marijuana by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Kirkpatrick is one of only two black dispensary owners in the state.

ExploreOhio medical marijuana users say prices are still too high

Harvest of Ohio is a vertically integrated marijuana business, meaning it controls all aspects of production from cultivation to sale. The company operates other locations in Athens and Columbus, and a cultivating and processing center in Ironton that started growing cannabis crops in June.

“It’s a dream that I really did not think was going to actually happen,” Kirkpatrick said. “But I decided not to give up, I decided to keep fighting, because I felt I had a place in this business and that I can bring a lot – a lot – to the patients in the community.”

Over 50% of Harvest of Ohio’s employees are minorities or people of color. Since opening first in Columbus in August, Harvest of

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