By CARLA K. JOHNSON
CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago company called PharmaCann took on a bigger role in Illinois’ medical marijuana industry Monday, confirming it would accept a cultivation center permit in an area where another group abandoned its plans.
Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Kristi Jones told The Associated Press Monday that PharmaCann was the next-highest scoring qualified applicant in District 1, which covers Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties.
PharmaCann has 15 days to provide the required $200,000 license fee and a $2 million surety bond or escrow account, Jones said.
“We’re very excited,” said PharmaCann CEO Teddy Scott, adding the Oak Park-based company will accept the permit and proceed with a growing operation in Hillcrest. “It was a site where we were always looking forward to the possibilities.”
This is the second cultivation permit for PharmaCann, which also plans a growing operation in Dwight. Under four dispensary licenses, the company plans to sell marijuana in Ottawa, North Aurora, Schaumburg and Evanston.
PharmaCann’s opening came when Green Thumb Industries declined a permit and dropped a planned cultivation center in Dixon. The company will focus instead on growing marijuana in Rock Island and Oglesby “to ensure long-term stability while producing the highest quality product and contribute to the overall success of the pilot program,” said Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler in a statement.
Required fees have been received “from every other district where a permit was awarded,” the agriculture department spokeswoman said. Three districts where no permits were awarded “continue to be under further review.”