NORMAL — Bloomington-Normal residents will have the opportunity to buy medical marijuana close to home as soon as this spring.
The Green Solution, a Denver, Colo.-based marijuana developer and retailer, is “expecting to be open by the third week of April” at 501 Northtown Road in Normal, said Vice President of Local Expansion Tanya Griffin.
“We’re going to start building out that site immediately,” Griffin said of the former Curves building in north Normal. “We just got through permitting.”
The company bought the half-acre lot in October, according to property records. Griffin declined to talk about the purchase price.
TGS Illinois Inc., a subsidiary of the Colorado company, received the only retail dispensary license in Illinois’ sixth state police district when licenses were awarded in 2014. The district stretches from Pontiac to the Twin Cities.
TGS will also open a store in Sauget, a St. Louis suburb, next month, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When asked how many people will work at the Normal store, Griffin said employee count “will scale” with demand and include local hires.
Licensed dispensaries in Illinois had served 2,815 unique patients at the end of 2015, officials told the Associated Press; 20 dispensaries were licensed to operate in Illinois.
Griffin said a reasonable “shot in the dark” is the Normal dispensary will have 500 patients within a year of opening. TGS’ Denver locations average more than 1,000 customers per day.
“When you walk in, there’s a patient education and reception area. … If they are a registered patient, they get to enter the sales floor,” Griffin said. “If people need a more discreet experience, we have a separate patient consultation room.”
TGS sells various marijuana products, including: flowers, a traditional plant version; edibles, which put marijuana into food including candy and fruit; concentrates that are intended to be mixed with food or drink; and topicals, including oils and creams. Griffin said products are prominently displayed in TGS stores.
“Our experience is patients like the energy of seeing the product before them, getting to ask questions and seeing the open floor,” she said.
Griffin encouraged patients with questions to call 312–212–0399.
“As soon as we get registered through our inspection, they can immediately transfer their identified dispensary to us,” she said. “Illinois is just kind of getting their footing (on marijuana).”
Follow Derek Beigh on Twitter: @pg_beigh