The City of Rock Island could soon be cashing in on a new crop.
Monday night, the City Council approved the sale of a 10-acre site at 8153 - 51st Street West to Green Thumb Industries, LLC. The Chicago-based company is applying for a license from the state to grow medical marijuana there.
"It's about sick patients who suffer from chronic illnesses having the power to decide alternative choices of treatment. So, that's what we're doing, we're manufacturing a medicine in a warehouse in Rock Island," said Ben Kovler, a founding partner of GTI.
GTI plans to build a 30,000-50,000 square foot facility that would create at least 30 jobs. Kovler said security would be a key focus at the site.
"We're working under the state's guided mandates and rules, and in certain cases, going above and beyond to assure a safe facility, safe transport of medicine, and safe exchange to consumer at the point of sale," said Kovler.
Aldermen voted 5-0 to approve the land sale, hoping to cash in on the opportunity.
“It’s a difficult site to get to,” said Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley. “It’s a difficult site to sell. It’s perfect for them, and it’s perfect for us.”
Green Thumb Industries expects to hear whether they've been awarded a license from the state by the end of the year.