Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley is reacting to news that former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn never acted on licenses for medical marijuana centers. Quinn's administration did not say why the licenses were never approved, before he left office.
According to a report done by the Associated Press, Green Thumb Industries was the top scorer to build a cultivation center off Andalusia Road in southwest Rock Island. GTI wants to build a 30,000 to 50,000 square foot medical marijuana production facility at 8153 51st Street.
GTI was the top scorer for three permits in three police districts, including District 7, where the company purchased 10 acres of land in southwest Rock Island in 2014.
GTI issued a statement in regard to their ranking provided by the Quinn administration:
"GTI will never waiver in our commitment to patient care, and we look forward to the State moving forward in awarding these licenses so the most qualified applicants in each district can begin providing relief to patients in need, as well as establishing an economic benefit to the region through the construction of these centers and the jobs they will create."
Stern Beverage co-owner Matt Stern, who was the top scorer for a distribution center in District 7, wants to build a dispensary center off Black Hawk Road in Rock Island. Both businesses could co-exist at the same time.
"And not to have it approved at the last-minute is just disturbing," Pauley said. "I wouldn't say it's frustrating because I haven't been on an economic development project yet that goes really smooth, so you can't expect everything to go really smooth."
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner now has to decide which businesses get the licenses to grow and distribute medical marijuana. A spokesperson for Governor Rauner says he will thoroughly check each of the license applications.