Cleveland Catch Up

Sophia Yakumithis, News Editor

Medical marijuana harvest kicks off in Eastlake

Bringing potential Ohio patients one step closer to medical marijuana access, workers at Eastlake’s Buckeye Relief are harvesting thousands of marijuana plants this week, reports.

The plants will be sent off later this month for testing and state approval, as the process is entirely mandated. Buckeye Relief, whose 60,000-square-foot facility is located behind a school bus depot, conducts testing in house as well.

The crop was planted on July 31 and consists of approximately 1,500 plants. This makes them the oldest plants in the state.

Ohio House passes exemption on feminine hygiene products

On Wednesday, the Ohio House voted on legislation which would end a sales tax on all tampons and other feminine products purchased in the state, according to

If put into law, the “pink tax” bill would exempt tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and similar products from sales tax.

A legislative analysis reported that an estimated $78.6 million will be spent on feminine hygiene products this year, but if the bill is passed, the state could surrender about $4.5 million in sales tax revenue.

Rape kit tracking system bill passed by Ohio lawmakers reports that on Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers supported a “rape kit” tracking system which will allow survivors of sexual assault to track information on the status and location of evidence from their cases.

The bills were passed together unanimously in the Ohio House and Senate and are the latest in series of efforts to address a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits, kits which contain evidence from rape cases. This includes both physical evidence and information from DNA.

Urban farmer Damien Forsche dies

50-year-old urban farmer Damien Forsche passed away after a heart attack on Nov. 29, according to

Forshe, the co-founder of Rid-All Green Partnership, operated a 26-acre plot on “The Forgotten Triangle,” mostly vacant tax delinquent properties between E. 79th and E. 84th streets. He revitalized the land into an urban farm producing thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year. The operation, which is run by employees and volunteers, includes a tilapia fish farm and a training center for people who want to create their own gardens.

Forshe was also an advocate of gun violence victims, organizing the “Toy Gun Buyback” program after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police for carrying a convincing toy gun. The program aimed to reduce similar situations in the future.

Lawmakers anticipate job openings in new Ohio administration

After Gov.-elect Mike Dewine’s gubernatorial win last month, several Republican lawmakers who are unable to run again due to term limits will seek jobs in the Dewine administration, reports.

Representatives Marlene Anielski, Mike Duffey, Michael Henne and Dorothy Pelanda have all either expressed interest in working for or have applied for jobs with DeWine. According to, State Reps. Jonathan Dever and Jim Hughes will also seek jobs.