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New cannabis dispensary to open in downtown Rockford

Owners said they believe the new launch will contribute to a boost in economic activity for the city.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford’s newest cannabis dispensary highlights the economic boost to local and state economies since the legalization of marijuana in Illinois.

Buckbee Weed Company is located on South Main and Morgan Streets - which is still under construction. The walls are bare and the floors ripped out, but owners said it will be up and running next week. According to economists, shells like these, hold the hope for stronger economies.

“We’re going to be opening on 4/20 at 4:20 p.m. of course,” said Sustainable Innovations President, John Murray.

Buckbee Weed Company is one of the area’s newest, minority-owned businesses -- selling cannabis-related products.

“Gummy bears, lotions, savs. We want to be your one-stop shop for Hemp and CBD,” said store owner, Lincoln Bias.

After falling on hard times, Lincoln Bias seriously considered the underground marijuana trade as a way to make ends meet. The only thing stopping him was concerns about what example he’d be setting for his teenage son. Until he crossed paths with Buckbee Weed Company, who, Bias said, allowed him to put plans in motion.

“You’re talking to a person, who can help you realize a small part of your dreams, and you get that electricity in a conversation, and you just kind of feel blessed,” said Bias.

A recent study found Illinois ranked fifth in the country for cannabis taxes, raking in $175 million in 2020.

John Murray is the President of the Sustainable Innovations -- a business partner of Buckbee Weed Company. He believes the new business will help boost economic activity.

“This area has a lot of abandoned-type buildings, so this is really going to be the best use of this building,” said Murray. “I think the tax base is going to be pretty heavy.”

Bias said his mission is to give back.

“I have friends who suffer from fibromyalgia, some going through chemotherapy, but I think the biggest thing is helping people,” Bias said.

The revenue from cannabis sales goes into the general revenue fund. It’s used for criminal justice projects and substance abuse prevention efforts.

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