UPDATED 1:30 p.m. | Normal’s medical cannabis dispensary wants to sell recreational cannabis too.
The Green Solution, 501 W. Northtown Road, has applied for a special use permit from the Town of Normal. Its request will be heard by the Normal Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 28. If approved, the Normal Town Council would consider the request at its Feb. 3 meeting.
If approved there, and if it obtains a state license, it would be the first recreational cannabis dispensary in McLean County. Recreational cannabis became legal Jan. 1, but customers from Bloomington-Normal have had to travel to Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, or Peoria to buy it legally.
The Green Solution’s ownership remains in flux.
Jushi, a Denver-based cannabis company, is planning to buy TGS IL, which operates the dispensary in Normal and another Green Solution location in Sauget, Ill., near St. Louis. An official with Jushi confirmed those plans in November and said Jushi may also open a second location in Bloomington. Jushi already had a “strategic partnership” with The Green Solution.
In a separate transaction, Columbia Care Inc. said in November it was buying The Green Solution's Colorado assets in a $140 million deal. TGS IL was not included in that transaction, a Columbia Care spokesperson said.
The Green Solution has declined repeated requests for comment. Messages left with Jushi were not returned.
A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which regulates dispensaries, declined to comment Tuesday on whether The Green Solution has applied for a same-site license or whether it's going through an ownership transfer.
Regardless, The Green Solution’s application for a special use permit in Normal would not be impacted by an ownership change as long as they don't make any changes.
“In other words, they’d be bound by all terms of the approved special use permit, including the site itself (parking, building size, lighting, etc.) and/or the operation plan,” said Normal Town Planner Mercy Davison.
Medical cannabis dispensaries got a head start when recreational cannabis became legal Jan. 1. Medical dispensaries were allowed to apply for a same-site recreational license—what The Green Solution in Normal would do—or apply to open a second location nearby.
There are now 46 approved recreational cannabis dispensary licenses in Illinois.
In the coming months, new applicants—including social equity applicants—will have the opportunity to apply for an additional 75 recreational cannabis licenses.
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.