There was no formal roll call conducted at the public meeting and tour commencing at The Dispensary. Aldermen present were Sue VanKampen, Barb Mask, Margaret Crosthwaite, Gene Field and Paul Banker. Media representative from the Clinton Herald was John Rolfe. Citizens attending were Kristin Huisenga, Kyle Folk and attending later in the evening was Kathy Kuebel. Dan Dolan, owner was also present to answer any questions.
The tour began with a presentation given by Manager, Jeff Soenksen of The Dispensary, who has been in the business for over 10 years. Also presenting was Security Director Bill Blecha.
Security was the main issue discussed. Currently the Dispensary has 52 cameras located on the premise which enables the facility to scan license plates in the lot and facial recognition of any patron on the premise. Cameras are able to scan and zoom in distances literally across Route 84 to the neighboring Shell Station if need be. The State of Illinois requires any video to be kept at least 90 days. The Illinois State Police monitor the facility 24 hours per day. Scanning software is regulated by the State and government issued ID’s are scanned when a client enters the building for purchasing the medical cannabis. This same type of procedure will be used if and when recreational use is approved for the City of Fulton. By scanning the government ID, it enables the system to keep records on entry. At this time only one purchase can be made daily. It also keeps logs of what is purchased in terms of amounts. Possession limits of recreation cannabis will be 28 grams (1 ounce) of flower or bud, or 500 mg of edibles per month. The amount is reduced to half for out of state identifications. (Which must be used within the State of Illinois)
Dan Dolan, owner, gave a brief presentation of what the new “Recreational Cannabis Facility” would entail. He explained that the store would be a “High End” retail experience. There will be no waiting in long lines outside of the building. Inside patrons would view local artisan’s work, which will be for sale, and a clean and professional environment would be the main focus. Most misconceptions is that the “product” is in clear site, which is totally the opposite. You do not see any product. When you place your order, it is prepared in a totally different area only accessible to qualified employees that possess a clearance certification.
As of now, if approved, the Fulton facility would be the only one in the North West Meter, which includes Fulton, north to East Dubuque over to just west of Rockford and down to Rochelle. There is a possibility that 3 additional licenses could become available within the next year, but that has to be approved by the State. Mr. Dolan stated that he has been awarded two different licenses, one on-site, due to him owning the Medical Dispensary and another off site license that currently he has no plans on implementing. The cost for licensing one facility is approximately $600,000. ($250, 000 for a local license and $350,000 for a state license) Estimated income for a one year term is 4-5 million dollars in sales. This would result in $150,000 going to the City from the sales tax. There is one catch Mr. Dolan did possibly see happening - the availability of the product. At this time the cultivation centers are not able to keep up demand and with the onset of recreational cannabis there will probably be a shortage.
Manager, Jeff Soenksen made it perfectly clear that they are there to answer any questions that citizens may have. Staff is available Monday through Saturday, 11 am – 7 pm, to educate the public. They have many informative brochures and handouts available. They are there to ease your concerns - so please stop by to visit.
Tammy L Garibay
Deputy Clerk – City of Fulton