It may still be a while until recreational cannabis sales begin in Bloomington-Normal.
The Green Solution was granted its special use permit during Monday's Normal Town Council meeting. However Nathan Wang, the new markets manager for business owner Jushi, said he’s not sure when the dispensary might receive its state license.
“Having town approval, the next step is to file that at the state level. Unfortunately, I don’t have much information on the timing for that,” said Wang. “As things go with the state, things can always change. I can’t give an exact timeline at this point, but we do hope to be up and running here shortly.”
Last week, Denver-based Jushi acquired a majority interest in TGS IL, which operates The Green Solution medical dispensaries in Normal and Sauget. Wang said the company is looking at what operational changes may be necessary to facilitate recreational sales.
“We have to do some analysis as far as how much demand we expect to see those first couple of days (and) make sure that we are properly prepared to make sure the store is ready to meet that demand,” he said.
“We certainly don’t want to overly rush things here because we don’t want anybody to have a bad experience. But at the same time we do see the community wants this, and so we want to make sure that need is being met as quickly as possible.”
The council voted unanimously in favor of granting the special use permit, following the recommendation from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mayor Chris Koos believes the process requiring special use permits works well as a regulatory tool.
“It gives the community some oversight on where those can get established,” he said.
Koos noted the business and town are “working through a solution” surrounding an issue with The Green Solution’s correct address, which should be 501 W. Northtown Road. The directional designation is necessary to avoid confusion with a residential property at 501 E. Northtown Road.
“This is a perfect example of us working together with the town and vice versa as issues come up,” said Wang. “As long as they're communicated to us, we'll definitely work very rapidly to address issues as quickly as possible with the full support of the town, hopefully.”
Wang stressed the company is working to create a safe place that will make the community proud.
“We’re super excited about the immense amount of support we've gotten from the town and the community, both in Normal and in Bloomington,” he said. “We’re very excited to continue to foster that relationship and make sure that every step along the way here we’re in communication with the town and vice versa.”
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