What's the Buzz? Marijuana Dispensary Now Open in Macomb
Car and truck drivers honked their horns as they passed the large gathering on West Jackson Street in Macomb Thursday morning. Usually such horn honking is done to show support for demonstrators. But in this case, drivers honked in support of the grand opening for the city's first adult-use marijuana dispensary.
“Macomb has got such a great energy and we noticed that there wasn’t necessarily a dispensary located very conveniently to you all,” said Justine Boney, Director of Marketing for Windy City Cannabis, of the decision to open a store in Macomb.
Boney said she grew up in Monmouth and feels well-acquainted with Macomb. She believes the business will be a good addition to the community.
“It’s a real nice way to stimulate the economy.”
She said the store will have more than 30 full and part time employees.
City leaders hope the dispensary will give a boost to Macomb’s finances. A 3% city sales tax will be added to each purchase on top of other local and state taxes.
After a quick ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m., a long line formed outside the entrance as people waited for the store to open its doors at 10:00 a.m.
Products for Sale
Boney said the store offers a variety of products, including flowers, edibles, beverages, and topicals. She said doses can be customized. She said customers should strive to find the product that best suits them, and employees are trained to help them reach that decision.
“We’re all enthusiasts. We all have our own favorite products. We have a ton of experience and expertise that we’re looking forward to sharing,” Boney said. “There is something for everybody and I think that’s the beauty of cannabis.”
She encouraged customers to order online before coming to the store, but added customers are welcome to come in and ask questions before deciding what to buy.
Boney said customers should bring an ID. And she said credit cards, debit cards, and checks will not be accepted because the federal government has not legalized marijuana. Customers should plan to pay with cash or use a mobile payment option called CanPay that’s available for use at cannabis retailers.
Marijuana consumption is not allowed on the premises.
Billionaire chewing gum heir William Wrigley Jr., who operates the Georgia-based marijuana business Parallel, has reached an agreement to purchase Windy City Cannabis.
Perri Knight, Chief Operating Officer for Windy City Cannabis, said, “We are under a definitive agreement with Parallel to become part of them. That’s pending all kinds of state and federal regulatory approval.”
She declined to say what role she might play after that’s done.
“Once the deal closes we’ll figure out what that might look like.”
The deal is worth a reported $100 million in cash and stock.
Knight echoed Boney in praising the reception the business received from Macomb.
“Macomb was so welcoming, so eager to have us, which is not something we can always say in every community,” Knight said.
“When we find somebody that wants to partner with us, that wants to welcome us into the community as a business partner, we’re all over it.”
She said the Macomb store is Windy City Cannabis’ sixth location. All are in Illinois.
Tri States Public Radio produced this story. TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution