Ohio businesses capitalize on legal marijuana industry

JOHNSTOWN, Ohio -- Andy Joseph didn't seek the marijuana industry -- it found him.

The Navy veteran and father of five began building botanical oil extraction systems from his home northeast of Columbus while working as an engineering director for a manufacturing company. The systems were made to extract essential oils and natural flavorings from plants such as lavender, spearmint and peppers.

But entrepreneurs in California found another use for Joseph's machines -- extracting chemicals from marijuana that could be used in hundreds of products. Joseph's business grew as more states legalized marijuana, leading him to quit his job in 2012 to run Apeks Supercritical out of a 2,000-square-foot pole barn in his backyard.

Sales reached $9 million last year, and 95 percent were for cannabis extraction in other states.

The plant is still illegal nationally and in the Buckeye State, but that could change as early as this year....

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