Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Illinois
Hundreds of people are lining up outside dispensaries in five Illinois cities today, to purchase medical marijuana for the first time in the state. Eight state-licensed retail shops open today, and sales could begin in the Quad Cities as early as Christmas.
Ben Kovler is the co-founder and CEO of Green Thumb Industries, or GTI, a Chicago-based medical marijuana company, which began operating a cultivation center in Rock Island last February. He says starting at 6 this morning, hundreds of people were lined up outside the dispensary in Mundelein, a suburb of Chicago.
GTI operates two cultivation centers, including a 45,000 square foot, indoor growing facility off Andalusia Road in Rock Island. Kovler says plants were put in the ground over the summer, and officially packaged and sent to its dispensary last week.
But construction of Nature's Treatment of Illinois, a dispensary in Milan, is still under-way. Co-owner of Stern Beverage in Milan, Matt Stern, is operating the retail shop. According to his assistant, it's expected to open as early as late December, and will serve Illinois-Quad City patients. Stern has so far been unavailable for comment.
About 3,300 patients have been sent Illinois-issued ID cards to purchase medical cannabis. Illinois is one of 23 states with medical marijuana programs.