Youngstown medical marijuana company expanding facility and product line
Ohio cannabis companies sold more than $381 million in medical marijuana in 2021, representing an almost 72% increase from 2020.
One of those companies is right here in Youngstown, Riviera Creek Holdings.
As demand continues to skyrocket for their Stambaugh product, the number one medical marijuana strain in the state, the company is expanding to meet that demand, with four new grow rooms on the way.
"When we first opened, we had two rooms," Brian Kessler, Owner of Riviera Creek, said. "We then doubled that and expanded to four rooms. We are now doubling those four rooms to almost more than ¾ of our building."
Riviera Creek is also expanding its product line with new strains called Avanti, Wildcat, and Lost River. They also added a new processing facility on site, which uses only water and ice to separate and extract the potent chemicals that provide the medicinal effect.
"Our processing facility is all natural and literally at this point is all hand done," Kessler said. "It's kind of premium unique products made in small batches helping us develop what does the audience like, what does our consumers like, what do our patients like."
"By using the ice and water to separate and extract, we end up with some of the highest quality products on the market," Dan Kessler, CEO of Riviera Creek, said. "This is solventless ice hash. It looks like little granules of sand. We also make a unique product to the state, which is a solventless rosin liquified so it can be put in a pod. It's the only product like this in the market, again it is liquified rosin which is a concentrate that is made from the pure plant, from the flower and using ice water and heat and pressure and things like that but no other solvents that go into it to make it just like our pesticide-free flower."
They can also make a pressed rosin.
"It has much more of a gummy feel to it, but it's the same thing, just a different way to deliver for vaping," Brian Kessler said.
Riviera Creek's products sell out quickly, and Kessler attributes that to their specific cultivating technique, willingness to evolve, and maintaining the highest standards in the industry.
"In the first two years of our facility, we were able to figure out what works well, what doesn't work well and from that, then said alright, we now have a model to keep building from, so we completely changed one of our rooms totally to the design that we felt is duplicatable and repeatable over and over again because at the end of the day we're always trying to get that consistency," Kessler said.
With the expansion comes more jobs, and Riviera Creek plans to add more soon.
"We're over 60 employees now; by the time we're done with the second facility, we should be around 100, which is what we said we always would do, so we are really proud of the fact in a short period of time, almost less than five years, we have been able to go from 0 to over 100 and we're not done," Kessler said. "As the demand for our products continues to expand, we look forward to expanding."
There are numerous conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Only a certified, licensed physician can recommend medical marijuana for treatment.