City leaders tour new Rock Island medical cannabis growing center


ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) –  A look at a growing industry, new to the area and the state of Illinois. On Monday, Rock Island city leaders got a tour inside the medical marijuana facility that’s just getting up and running in the city.

Rock Island Facility

GTI, or Green Thumb Industries, LLC. out of Chicago, set up shop for their medical marijuana cultivation facility on 51st Street near the Milan border.

As for getting a look at the place, due to strict regulations, the outside of the fence surrounding the building is as far as our cameras could go. But Mayor Dennis Pauley and other city leaders did get a chance to have a look inside some of the building. They say the security sets it apart. The building sits in a business park area, is surrounded by fences with a security stand at the entrance, and there’s more measures throughout.

“They’re definitely off to the right track, they want to do it right. They toured all kinds of facilities in Colorado and other locations and they took all the best of those,” said Mayor Pauley.

A company rep says product is growing now but won’t be ready to send of to a dispensary for a while.

“Bar codes on everything from the time it starts growing to the time it goes out the door. It’s barcoded and I think there’s like 12 different inspection stops before it leaves there,” said Alderman Virgil Mayberry.

By November 30 jobs are expected to be filled. City leaders say GTI is planning several extensions for growing rooms and they say a cutting room could fit 150 employees eventually.

“They use a lot of electricity and a lot of water, so it means even more revenue from that. It’s just a great thing for Rock Island to continue to build and diversify in different ways and bring a facility like this in,” added Mayor Pauley.

Rock Island was also going to have a medical marijuana dispensary but those plans fell through. Earlier this year, Matt Stern was awarded one of the state’s 52 licenses to sell medical cannabis. He is now building the facility in Milan near his existing company, Stern Beverage.

By Bailey Deitz