By Laura Hancock

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 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.


The Revs. E. Theophilus Caviness of Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Glenville and the Rev. Aaron Phillips of the Cleveland Clergy Coalition both described the project as a gift from God.

“This is almost unbelievable for us to have this opportunity for this to impact the community,” Caviness said.

Phillips said he’s prepared to travel to Columbus if the state objects to the products being manufactured.

Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek is also on board. His ward includes part of Glenville.

He described the area as “totally devastated. It’s over 200 acres of industrial land that for the most part has been abandoned. For the last 5 years I have been lobbying with the state, the county, the city for revitalization of this area.”

He hopes the project will inspire development of other buildings in the area.

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