BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR) – St. Clair County is one big step closer to allowing a medical marijuana farm to start growing pot in Marissa, Illinois.
Medical marijuana became legal in Illinois in January.
Now the race is on for the companies who want to grow it to get state approval.
But they have to get local approval first and that`s what a group of St. Louis area investors are seeking from St. Clair County.
Their company is called Nature`s Care and they are is seeking a county special use permit to open a one acre greenhouse and a 20,000 square foot processing facility to produce medicinal marijuana.
They plan to build on farmland one of the investors already owns on the outskirts of Marissa, Illinois.
Monday night the St. Clair County zoning board of appeals met for the second time to consider the application and after about 30 minutes of questions they approved it unanimously. No one spoke against it, but some in the audience are against it and left disappointed it passed.
Nature`s Care is promising to pay for a sheriff`s substation and two deputies, plus a patrol car to keep the facility safe, along with multiple levels of electronic security.
They also say the center would create 30 good paying jobs in the area.
State law allows only one facility to be built-in each of Illinois’s 22 state police districts and time is tight because they will have only 30 days to apply once the state approval process begins in August or September.
One of the partners in this venture is the Heimos family, which owns the land the facility will be built on, has been in the commercial growing business for 60 years.
There is one last hurdle for this group; the full county board will take up the issue on July 28th.