Oberlin’s Ascension Biomedical earned one of the first 12 Level 2 medical cannabis cultivator licenses awarded by the Ohio Department of Commerce. Nearly five years on now from earning that license to begin production, their current operators reflect on opportunities and challenges as they continue to grow cannabis medicine for Ohioans. MedicateOH’s Tyler Baker reports:

Ascension Biomedical: A Level 2 Ohio Cannabis Cultivator

When someone enters the cannabis industry, it’s my opinion that it is incredibly important they are coming in to it for the right reasons. So many that enter this industry do so strictly for monetary gain. Don’t get me wrong—there are lots of people that come into the industry to truly make a difference, but so many people look at cannabis as a cash crop only, and not something that can change the world. When I first learned about Ascension Biomedical, I learned that they were among the first level 2 licenses issued to cultivate cannabis in the state. I wondered what the process was like for them, what lessons were learned, and how they are doing things differently today.

Fadi Boumitri, Founder/CEO at Ascension Biomedical

According to Fadi Boumitri, Founder/CEO at Ascension Biomedical, he wanted the people of Ohio to be able to access cannabis legally and safely.

Fadi saw firsthand the inaccessibility to legal cannabis as an attorney, but his personal life amplified it. Diagnosed with Glaucoma and Parkinson’s, his grandmother had became addicted to prescription medications. She struggled with the tramadol pills and fentanyl patches that were prescribed for her chronic back and leg pain, and lost vision in of one of her eyes as the result of building pressure from other prescribed medications. Fadi knew in his heart that her suffering could have been alleviated with medical marijuana, if only it were legal.

Photo by Marissa Kehres

Licensing Challenges

“The goal, when founding Ascension BioMedical and applying for medical marijuana licenses, was to ensure that the Ohio patients, including my grandmother, would have access to the highest quality, medical grade products at their local dispensaries.” Boumitri explained. “The only way I could ensure that would happen was to partner with the best and bring them here to Ohio. Our group was focused on processing, and partnered with what some considered the best processors in the entire country at the time. Unfortunately, we did not win a processing license, and thus were forced to reinvent ourselves as a flower-only company instead of a powerhouse of manufactured products.”

The flower-only operation started out very slowly and the process has admittedly been a long and tough one. Lately, they are focusing on doing what they can to become the great cultivator that the founders envisioned. Every company in the volatile cannabis industry has certainly had its ups and downs, but it is the way Ascension persevered through hard times that set them apart.

Photo by Marissa Kehres

Growing Pains

Said Boumitri, “We were formulated to be a processor-focused company. When that didn’t happen, we had to fit a square peg into a round hole. We have been working over the years to improve our products and processes, and that meant finding a more suitable peg to place into the round hole of cultivation-only licensing. That culminated in shutting down our facility in 2022 for a deep clean and some thorough changes: New grower. New grow methods. New setpoints. New nutrients. New feeding schedules. New beneficial bugs. No pesticides. Some new genetics, and the revitalization of our best OG genetics.”

We talked about what new standards their team has enacted as part of their re-commitment to producing the best flower. Said Fadi, “We require our team members to deliver a higher level of quality and consistency in everything we do. Excellence in every task and in each facet of our processes, even the most trivial. How we do anything is how we do EVERYTHING! No cutting corners here!”

What strains can patients look for in the coming harvest?

Every strain is unique, and every patient’s needs are subjective, Boumitri explained. “We recently cut out more than half of our strains to make room for the new genetics that we popped from seed. From our OG lineup, only Cherry Star, Vegas Sunset, Blue Boi, Do-Hi-Oh, and Lemon Butter survived, as those were the best we had to offer. From our new lineup, Original Mandarin Cookies, Animal Mintz, and Sugar Shop are all special.”

Thanks to grow techniques and commitment to excellence, Fadi says they are far more confident in these new batches of strains. “And we have plenty more new strains coming to allow us to fade out any that do not meet the level of excellence we require.” Awaiting test results on batches of Original Mandarin Cookies, Sugar Shop, and Super Lemon Jack, Fadi says this will be the first run of Super Lemon Jack to hit the market, and only the second run of Original Mandarin Cookies and Sugar Shop.

Boumitri believes patients will be impressed. “Three different members of the testing lab, individually and at different times, each reached out to tell us how amazing the product looks now that we have gotten dialed in. The product coming down now is special, and it is immediately apparent.”

Tiers for this Cultivator

Ohio’s Level 2 operators had only 3,000 square feet of grow space to work with, so creativity came in handy. At Ascension, two grow rooms are stacked two levels high with plants on two tiers.

Fadi explained: “We put in our application that we would have the ability to rack and tier our facility to maximize production, so Mark Nye, the prior Director of Compliance, reached out letting me know that inspectors have been told that if something was put into the application, it needs to be present in order for facilities to get open. You better believe we did whatever we had to do to put that in day one, instead of being an add on as anticipated. That definitely presented (and still presents) a lot of unique challenges, but our team is finally hitting stride with it right now.”

Dry & Cure

The product is hang dried in individual branches (to aid in a consistent dry back) for 10-13 days. The amount of time depends on many factors, including what season it is outside. Boumitri explains, “The ultimate determination of when to stop the drying process and when to stop the curing process is 100 percent based on science, rather than feelings or guesswork. We have invested in some expensive technologies to determine exactly what is going on with the product, and help us hit the exact readings we want to see in order to provide the product to patients in the ideal state.”

Packaging Decisions

In Ohio, prerolls are not allowed because combustion of flower is not allowed. Only vaporization. Explained Fadi, “At Ascension, we decided to store our Shredded Buds products in tubular vials to allow for ease in loading for vaporization. The best way to maintain freshness is to get the product into the hands of the patients as quickly as possible, and with the highest quality products in Ohio and at better prices than other options, we hope to get products into the hands of patients faster.”

What does Ascension Biomedical hope to provide for Ohio patients in 2023 and beyond?

Today, the team at Ascension Biomedical is committed to working hard at the facility whether that be cultivating, hand-trimming, packaging all the way down to delivery of the product. “I have always wanted for Ascension to bring the highest quality medical marijuana products to Ohio patients, and help them take their wellness back into their hands and to higher level,” Boumitri said.

Photo by Marissa Kehres

My Experience Working For Ascension

In addition to my writing and advocacy work, I’ve recently had the opportunity to join the team as Brand/Sales Representative for Ascension. Every day there is so much positivity in the building. I absolutely love walking through the door in the mornings and finding out what is going on in the facility and seeing how I can contribute to the team. Everyone has been very welcoming, and I can tell people are there for the right reasons.

Ascension Biomedical products can be located in Ohio dispensaries by using the Jane app.

Follow Ascension Biomedical on Instagram.

Ascension Biomedical’s website is currently being revamped and will be available soon.

Questions about Ascension Biomedical? Email the team at feedback@abmohio.com.



  • Tyler Baker

    Tyler Baker is a medical cannabis patient in the state of Ohio and was the first to purchase in Lorain County. Tyler has been using cannabis since 2009 to treat epilepsy and has become an advocate for cannabis normalization since that time. He says: "My passion for cannabis is unshaken; I want everyone to look at this plant as a natural healer that can be beneficial for their well-being."