Construction on the Quad City area's first medical marijuana dispensary is underway.
The Milan facility, to be called "Nature's Treatment," is being built next to Stern Beverage, both owned by businessman Matt Stern.
"We anticipate being up and running in four months. Then we have to wait for the state to approve the facility and that could take six weeks or so to get all the employees approved by the state. And then, we'll be good to go," Stern said, in an interview with WQAD-TV on Monday.
Construction workers started moving dirt on the site Friday, a few months later than expected.
"It's a pioneer industry. For our approval process, what should have taken two to three months, ended up taking six months," Stern said.
Already, close to 200 people have applied to work at the dispensary for the 20 anticipated jobs.
Stern says security at the building will be tight, as per state rules for the new dispensaries, stricter than regular pharmacies.
"The restrictions from the state are numerous. So we need bulletproof glass, windows, bulletproof walls, a vault. This will be very secure," Stern said.
Patients need to get approval from their doctor, and then the state to buy medical marijuana at the dispensary. Stern will own the only dispensary in Illinois State Police District 7, which will sell cannabis to customers in Knox, Henry, Rock Island, and Mercer counties.
Stern says it will be a win-win.
"I get more excited when I keep meeting prospective patients who are just dying for this product to come in to relieve their symptoms of cancer, chronic pain, PTSD, they're really excited and that makes me excited," he said.