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Local News

Cannabis business expanding in Joliet

Customers lined up at the Rise recreational cannabis dispensary when it opened in Joliet on Jan. 1.
Customers lined up at the Rise recreational cannabis dispensary when it opened in Joliet on Jan. 1.

Cresco Labs plans to expand its cannabis center in Joliet this year, a sign of the growing business in Illinois.

"The demand is increasing rapidly around the state," Cresco spokesman Jason Erkes said Tuesday.

Growing demand is linked to the legalization of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1.

The state reported this week that the first month of recreational marijuana business generated $7.3 million in cannabis tax revenue plus $3.1 million in retail sales taxes.

On Monday, during his State of the City speech, Mayor Bob O'Dekirk announced that Cresco plans to expand and also reported that business is going smoothly at the Rise recreational cannabis dispensary that opened Jan. 1 near the Louis Joliet Mall.

"Rise has been a good community partner," O'Dekirk said. "I don't know of any reports of criminal activity or police activity at Rise."

The mayor did not provide any details on Cresco's plan to expand.

Erkes said there are no details to provide yet, although he confirmed the company plans to expand operations in Joliet and at its other cultivation centers in Illinois.

"Kankakee is undergoing a build-out. Our Lincoln facility is under construction," he said.

Cresco still is evaluating plans for its Joliet operation, he said. The facility is located at 3301 CenterPoint Way.

The Joliet operation in addition to growing cannabis has a manufacturing operation that includes an edibles kitchen, testing and packaging.

"It's a full manufacturing facility," Erkes said. "We do everything from seed to store."

The facility has 137 employees and made the news last month when 100 of them voted to unionize and join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881.

Negotiations on the first contract have not yet begun, said Zach Koutsky, legislative and political director for Local 881.

Joliet has two locations for recreational marijuana sales.

The 3C Compassionate Care Center on Rock Creek Boulevard added recreational marijuana sales to the medical cannabis business it has been doing since 2015.

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