EFFINGHAM, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — After receiving final approval from the Effingham City Council earlier this month, a medical dispensary has now expanded into recreational marijuana sales.
Rise Effingham, formerly The Clinic Effingham, held a soft opening Friday for its recreational marijuana business.
Jack and Kim Kimberlin live 20 minutes outside of Effingham, and travel to the dispensary frequently. Jack said he used to be totally against it until his wife began chemotherapy.
“I think it’s good for patients that need it,” he said.
The dispensary underwent extensive renovations to accommodate distinct service areas specifically for adult-use customers and medical patients.
Kimberlin said he thinks the new adult use sales will help the Effingham economy.
“I think it’ll be good for the community. It’ll bring in a lot of revenue and tax money,” he said.
Rise Effingham staff said they anticipate an increase in sales with this transition to recreational sales.
“We are honored to begin offering adult-use cannabis sales at Rise Effingham and offer well-being through the power of cannabis to adults 21 and over,” Ben Kovler, Green Thumb Industries founder and chief executive officer said. “Since opening as a medical cannabis retailer in Effingham in September 2016, we have served thousands of patients and look forward to getting to know our new customers.”
Recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois as of Jan. 1. Residents may now purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana at a time. Non-residents may have 15 grams. The law provides for cannabis purchases by adults 21 and older at approved dispensaries.
In the first month of adult-use cannabis sales, Illinois reached nearly $40 million in sales and generated over $10 million in tax revenue. Experts estimate the Illinois market potential is $2.5 billion or more after maturation.
While not many customers came through the recreational side Friday for the soft opening, employees said they are expecting much longer lines and wait times during their grand opening Saturday.
In addition to providing recreational sales, the dispensary’s goal is to education the public on the health benefits of marijuana and what prescriptions are available through a medical doctor. Medical cannabis patients can avoid the costly taxes associated with recreational use cannabis.
Rise Effingham will have special hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Regular hours will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.