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SOUTH BELOIT—Customers lined up outside the Sunnyside Marijuana Dispensary in South Beloit over the weekend and a ribbon cutting and opening ceremony was scheduled today at the facility.

Customers were able to place orders online and arrange to pick up products at the new store starting Saturday.

The 7,200-square-foot facility near the intersection of Interstate 39/90 and Highway 75 is the largest facility operated by Cresco Labs, according to a news release from the company. The South Beloit facility is the eighth marijuana dispensary operated by Cresco Labs.

The company also owns the Sunnyside Marijuana Dispensary in Rockford, Illinois, which was the site of long lines and some traffic issues at the beginning of this year due to the high demand for marijuana products. The South Beloit Store will employ 35 people.

Customers who come to the store will be required to wear face masks in keeping with COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC.

South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl said the marijuana dispensary is hoped to provide a much needed infusion of revenue for the city in a time when the economy has been struggling.

“In ordinary times it would be a windfall. Now, its a lifesaver, or at least part of a lifesaver,” Rehl said.

The sale of marijuana for adult use became legal in Illinois in January.

Under the law that legalized recreational marijuana sales in Illinois, municipalities are allowed to impose a sales tax of up to 3% on marijuana dispensaries. Under the development agreement, 2018 DT South Beloit will receive 75% of the revenue of that 3% sales tax for a period of seven years. The city would retain 25% of the revenue from that 3% sales tax during the seven year period.

South Beloit budget figures indicate the city estimates it could receive about $200,000 a year from marijuana sales.

Rehl said South Beloit Police Chief Adam Truman has talked with operators of the dispensary to work out traffic and parking issues. Rehl said all parties believe they have a pretty good plan in place.

Rehl said one issue that may have to be explained relates to Wisconsin customers who come to the business. While marijuana sales to adults is legal in Illinois, it still is illegal to possess marijuana in Wisconsin.

Construction of the South Beloit marijuana dispensary, located near the intersection of Willowbrook Road and Gardner Street behind the Road Ranger truck stop, began in December.

The Sunnyside Marijuana Dispensary, at 7000 First Ranger Drive, will be open from 9 a.m.—9 p.m. seven days a week.

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