ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Day Two of legal marijuana sales looks just like Day One, as neighboring businesses to Rockford’s only dispensary say long lines are causing them problems.
For businesses near Sunnyside Dispensary, at 2696 McFarland Road, the rush to purchase legal recreational marijuana is creating a parking headache.
Kavena Abston, owner of Sola Salon Studios, says, “Parking has been an absolute nightmare.”
Daniel McGirk is the Practice Manager for Orthopedic Rehab Specialists right next door. He says the crowds have forced away some of his patients.
“We’ve had quite a few cancellations today, because people [saw] what went on yesterday on the news, so they were apprehensive about coming and not having parking spots,” he said. “Especially some of our elderly patients, who require handicapped spots, and they may be taken by other individuals.”
Abston added, “People are having to park really far away and walk when, we normally have plenty of parking, here in the front. I’m lucky that I haven’t had people cancel because of this.”
To cut down on the congestion, Sunnyside is offering a free shuttle service to a lot a quarter of a mile north, at 3401 McFarland.
“We wanted to be a great neighbor to all of our great tenants in our surrounding buildings,” said Jason Berkenstock, Senior V.P. of Retail Operations for Cresco Labs, which owns Sunnyside.
“We wanted to make sure to commit to them, that we are not going to take your spaces while you were open for business,” Berkenstock said. “We were going to make sure to maintain the flow for your customers.”
McGirk says he still sees problems.
“We ended up having to hire someone, impromptu this morning, because the security that the marijuana distribution company was providing was not doing their job…so our patients were having difficulty finding parking spots,” he said. “So, we had to go ahead and pull the trigger, and hired somebody for today and probably tomorrow as well.”
Sunnyside will offer the free shuttle service through Sunday, as the company expects large crowds and long lines through the end of the week.