The second cannabis dispensary in the St. Louis area was just granted their license to sell recreational marijuana. Located in Collinsville, Illinois, Supply and Provisions was the first shop in the Metro East to begin selling recreational cannabis to Prairie State residents over the age of 21. Due to such high demand for the product, the cannabis dispensary, formerly known as HCI Alternatives, was actually forced to close for a day in order to stock up on its supply of marijuana. Medical patients reportedly had a hard time accessing their cannabis due to a shortage and long lines of customers. Thankfully, a second dispensary will soon be opening its doors nearby to split the customer burden. The Green Solution in Sauget has operated as a medical cannabis dispensary since it first opened, back in 2015. The Denver-based pot shop recently received their adult-use dispensing license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Unfortunately, it remains unclear when The Green Solution will open its doors to the wider public. When asked by the Tribune Ledger News, a spokesperson for the shop declined to make any comment. The state of Illinois officially legalized recreational cannabis back in 2019, however, the new law took until January 1st of this year to actually go into effect. Since then, at least forty dispensaries across the state have been approved for recreational sales. Last week, Sauget’s Mayor Richard Sauget Jr. told the St. Louis Public Radio, “It was just a matter of time. The timing of the legalization was such that the Department of Revenue doesn’t recognize our sales tax increase. We will not receive those taxes until July.” Illinois Supply and Provisions is owned by Ascend Wellness Holdings, a multi-state cannabis company based out of Boston; the business owns multiple dispensaries, including ones in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. Founder and CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings, Abner Kurtin, said in a recent press release, “this is a learning process, and we will continue to make adjustments that are in the best interests of both our medical patients and adult-use customers until we find our new normal.” Beginning on January 13th, ‘Medical Mondays’ at Illinois Supply and Provisions will now be reserved for medical cannabis patients. The store’s first official ‘Medical Monday’ was last week. According to AWH Regional Director Kathleen Olivastro, “It really worked well, not only for our medical patients who didn’t have to deal with big crowds and lack of parking but also for our staff who were able to focus their efforts on patients and training new employees.” The state will begin taking new applications for recreational dispensaries on March 15th. Executive Director of the Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois and former Illinois State Senator, Pam Althoff, said in a recent interview with KSDK 5 On Your Side, “I do not expect the opening of Green Solution to reduce demand, but I do expect it [to] reduce volume at other nearby dispensaries.” Check out this list of medical and recreational dispensaries in Illinois to find the shop closest to you.

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