STATELINE (WIFR) – We’re getting closer to the date when medical marijuana centers will be built right here in the Stateline. As the state’s application period for companies looking to get into the new industry nears, interest continues to grow.
Veronica Garcia says she has no problem with medical marijuana growing in her town.
“I’m all for it. I’ve always been all for it. I don’t know about other people in this town, but I know I am.”
Garcia lives in Hillcrest, a small town just north of Rochelle in Ogle County. Village leaders there just approved a plan to bring a medical marijuana cultivating center to a rural part of town at Twobly and Dement Road.
“There’s a lot of sick people out there who aren’t using it, which they probably could be helping them out a lot.”
The state of Illinois is just weeks away from accepting applications from companies interested in growing the controversial plant and along with Ogle County, Stephenson County isn’t softening its efforts to sign companies. A fourth company just signed a contract with the county to build a center at Mill Race Crossing, just outside of Freeport.
“With people losing jobs in the city of Freeport and Stephenson County, it would be a very welcome thing to get that license in Stephenson County,” said Stephenson County Board Chairman, Bill Hadley.
Dr. Mark Francis with Empyrean Cultivation, the company that signed with Stephenson County today, says his group wants to build a center not only to grow marijuana for medical use, but to research the drug.
“We want to be involved in businesses that are involved with providing positive results for patients,” said Dr. Francis.
The State Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for licenses September 8th and developers say the department will likely be flooded with those applications.
Only one growing center will be built in each Illinois State Police District. There will be 22 centers built throughout the state. More people are supporting Stephenson County to get our police district’s growing center. Among the county’s supporters now are two larger area newspapers.