SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WTVO) — Sunnyside Dispensary began selling legal cannabis in South Beloit in July and has since used its location along the Illinois-Wisconsin border to achieve “astronomical” profits.

Cannabis sales are illegal across the border, in Wisconsin.

“It’s a perfect site. It’s less than a minute off of the expressway,” said Mayor Ted Rehl, who says the dispensary was expected to bring in significant profits after Illinois legalized recreational marijuana in January.

“They were projecting sales that we thought were astronomical actually happened!” he said.

The revenue from the Sunnyside dispensary, located at 7000 First Ranger Drive, will benefit both the company and the city, Rehl said.

“[Illinois has made] a billion dollars in cannabis sales throughout the state. That reflects exactly how the sales have been going at the South Beloit store, and so that generates a significant amount of sales tax revenue to the city,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the process for other businesses moving to the area. However, Rehl remains optimistic that Sunnyside’s success will pave the way for other businesses to move in to surrounding lots.

“We think that, as we begin to chug or grind towards normality, we’re going to see a renewed interest, because there’s plenty of property to be developed around there,” Rehl said.

Jason Erkes, a spokesperson for Sunnyside, says they’ve seen more customers coming in during the pandemic, unlike some other businesses.

“With any business, they want to be where the people are. So, just like a shopping mall that puts in an anchor tenant, because they know other stores will want to come, because the people are there,” Erkes said. “I think we’ve kind of anchored this corridor in South Beloit, and other businesses are looking at it as an opportunity, because we’re drawing between 4,000 and 6,000 customers a week to the area.”

Sunnyside also operates a dispensary in Rockford, at 2696 McFarland Road.


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