Macomb 91.3fm - Galesburg 90.7fm Keokuk 89.5fm - Burlington 106.3fm
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
There are several current and emerging markets in Illinois for cannabis-related products. Medical marijuana is already legal in the state, farmers are gearing up to grow industrial hemp, and lawmakers could consider a measure to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Whether or not recreational use becomes legal, the business of cannabis is already established in the Land of Lincoln and our reports are intended to bring you information related to these efforts."State of Cannabis" is a collaborative effort among public radio stations across Illinois.Special thanks to participating stations in reporting and editing:Illinois Newsroom, NPR Illinois, Tri-States Public Radio, WBEZ, WCBU, WDCB, WGLT, WILL, WNIJ, WSIU, WVIK-Reporter Roundtable-- Why are we doing this series now? Features WGLT's Ryan Denham, WSIU/Illinois Newsroom's Steph Whiteside, WNIJ's Sarah Jesmer -From Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, Rich Egger visited a medical marijuana cultivation facility in west central Illinois to get their perspective.-From NPR Illinois in Springfield, Jaclyn Driscoll has been closely covering the issue. She sat down with Sean Crawford to give us an update on the legislative timeline of recreational marijuana.-When Illinois issued the first licenses for medical marijuana businesses in 2015, almost all the recipients were white. We look at what a more racially diverse marketplace might look like if the state legalizes recreational use. From WBEZ in Chicago, Susie An reports.-Existing rules around the Illinois medical cannabis program could make the rollout for recreational use a less daunting task. But there are plenty of unanswered questions at the federal level which could complicate the process. From WNIJ in DeKalb, Chase Cavanaugh reports.-Northwestern Illinois’ Stephenson County is one area where changes in the status of cannabis are being embraced. The people doing it are not necessarily the ones you’d expect. From WNIJ in DeKalb, Guy Stephens has more.-From WSIU and Illinois Newsroom in Carbondale, Steph Whiteside explains how some patients are considering marijuana as an alternative to opioids.-From WCBU in Peoria, Tanya Koonce brings us the view from Peoria with a doctor who talks abouthow health providers are navigating conversations with patients who are considering marijuana use.-In today’s legal market, there’s more than just your typical joint if you want to get high. There are cookies, gummies, weed-infused drinks and more... but how might these different products affect you? From NPR Illinois in Springfield, reporter Jaclyn Driscoll has more. (Audio available Wednesday 5/01)-The debate over legalization touches on so many thorny issues -- criminal justice reform, health care, and balancing a state budget coated in red ink. But it's also an economic issue. From WGLT in Bloomington/Normal, Ryan Denham visits a small town in central Illinois where medical marijuana has brought new jobs, new tax revenue, and a hope for more.-Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says she’s concerned about how legalization could impact the juveniles she works with on a daily basis. She’s also concerned about how the state will address cannabis impaired driving. Illinois Public Media’s Lee Gaines recently interviewed Rietz. (Audio available Thursday 5/02)-Susan Stephens with WNIJ in DeKalb reports, attitudes are changing about cannabis use. (Audio available Thursday 5/02)-With conversations about legalizing recreational marijuana, you also may have heard about C-B-D. This is a very different hemp product and it’s completely legal. Sarah Jesmer with WNIJ in DeKalb reports, those in the CBD market are trying to prepare for possible changes on the horizon. (Audio available Friday 5/03)-Illinois Governor J.B.Pritzker wants legalize recreational marijuana to provide an economic boost for the state. At Rock Island’s Augustana College, students have different reasoning behind their perspective. Reporter Natalie Spahn from WVIK in Rock Island found out, many identify themselves in the "pro" category. (Audio available Friday 5/03)-Reporter Roundtable #2 There may be more questions than answers as state leaders consider their next step. (Audio available Friday 5/03) Features WGLT's Ryan Denham, WSIU/Illinois Newsroom's Steph Whiteside, WNIJ's Sarah Jesmer

What's the Buzz? Marijuana Dispensary Now Open in Macomb

Rich Egger
The opening day crowd at Windy City Cannabis 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.

Credit Rich Egger
Windy City Cannabis Director of Marketing Justine Boney

“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.

New Owners?

Billionaire chewing gum heir William Wrigley Jr., who operates the Georgia-based marijuana business Parallel, has reached an agreement to purchase Windy City Cannabis.

Windy City Cannabis COO Perri Knight

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

Rich is TSPR's News Director.