Economic development leader talks Galesburg landing dispensary

The former Aldi Store on Main and Henderson will soon be selling produce again.

Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development Ken Springer announced yesterday the building will become Galesburg’s first cannabis dispensary on Jan. 1.

Before any cannabis business can come to a community, a town’s governing body has to invite them in essentially by establishing zoning.

Communities like Morton, Monmouth, and Naperville have already opted out of in-town pot sales.

Galesburg Council voted 5-0 in favor of a resolution in July to give the administration the go-ahead to draft a cannabis business ordinance.

They can approve it at their first meeting in September.

Springer says he and the city looked for a way to meet cannabis businesses interested in a Galesburg entry, and he says they can do that by putting downzoning for pot businesses, well before Jan. 1

“They not only have to find real estate, [but they also have to go through] the transaction process in buying that real estate,” Springer tells WGIL. “They have to retrofit it — build it out. They have to hire staff, train staff, stock shelves, buy signs, landscape the place, promote themselves — there’s all this stuff that has to happen before January 1. So our thought was if we’re going to do this, then let’s go [and] get the zoning done.”

Springer said his phone was lighting up in the days after the legislature legalizing recreation marijuana, from entities looking to enter Knox County.

Nature’s Treatment of Illinois operating out of Milan have plans to take their existing business model and put it to work at the former Aldi building on Henderson and Main Streets.

The law was written so only existing businesses would be apart of the first wave of cannabis businesses allowed to enter the recreational market.

That’s one of the reasons KCAP President Ken Springer wanted Galesburg to act quickly on getting a zoning ordinance for cannabis business because if a business was to come to town in 2020 it would have to be an established firm.

He says Nature’s Treatment is exactly that.

“They have a track record. They have a safety record. They’re in compliance with all state laws. And, they know what they’re doing. So we think we’re getting a company that has been doing this for a number of years that has a very high-class very, good looking store up in Milan. They simply are going to replicate their existing company philosophy here in Galesburg.”

Springer says a lot of dispensaries are hungry for “prime retail locations”.

Galesburg City Council has already given the indication that they favor cannabis businesses in town but can officially approve zoning for them at their first September meeting.

Tags: , ,