Illinois cities prepare for medical marijuana businesses - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois cities prepare for medical marijuana businesses

(Source: United States Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons) (Source: United States Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)
(KFVS) - Medical marijuana is once again moving forward and will soon be available for patients in Illinois.

On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner issued medical marijuana licenses and permits to qualifying growers and sellers.

Several will move to towns located in the Heartland.

A distribution center and a dispensary will soon open up shop in Anna.

Two companies, one out of St. Louis, the other out of Chicago will bring a marijuana distribution center and dispensary to Union County.

These companies stand to make millions.

And Anna leaders say they will reap some of the benefits.

“It is not just going to affect Anna. It is going to affect Union County and beyond and to have those jobs in this kind of economy is great," said Anna Mayor Jim Cross.

The operation building will sit on 10 acres off of Lick Creek Road.

Don Schreiber from KKirkwoodPharmacy Group of Anna says his 3,000 square foot Dispensary will sit just north of town on Highway 51.

The company plans to hire three to six people once operational.

But Anna Mayor Jim Cross tells me his community will benefit even earlier.

“That's going to create more jobs, because someone is going to have to build the building for them, pour the concrete. This is going to help the community," he said.

The KKirkwoodPharmacy Group has a second location in Harrisburg.

Between the two sites,the company will spend more than a half a million dollars on construction.

City leaders predict it will be another four to six months before crop cultivation sites are up and running.

Hundreds of people spent thousands of dollars to buy into Illinois' highly-anticipated medical marijuana program.

But for those were weren't issued the licenses, it was a bit of a disappointment.

Area 51 Growers planned to build a $4 million medicinal marijuana cultivation center in Cairo, but were not issued a license by the state.

Owner Roger Allen says Cairo was an ideal location that would have benefited from the major economic growth.

“At this point, all I can see is most of the growers through southern Illinois are controlled out of Chicago and that is not surprising for people who live in southern Illinois. I think they kind of expected this." said Allen.

Allen says he requested the scores generated by each company and will decide if legal action is necessary.

Another company that didn't make the list is SI Pharmacy which would have been located out of Pinckneyville.

Pinckneyville leaders spent $200,000 in renovation costs to the old TUMS factory where the cultivation center would have been run out of.

The business would have added more than 200 jobs.

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