URBANA — Recreational users will have two places to purchase marijuana in Champaign-Urbana come Jan. 1.
Less than three weeks before legalization takes effect, Urbana’s medical dispensary was granted a license Friday to sell recreational cannabis by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The news on NuMed (105 E. University Ave.) comes two months after Champaign’s dispensary — Phoenix Botanical — was certified.
If you’re planning to ring in the new year with marijuana, NuMed Principal Officer Keith McGinnis said to expect a crowd.
“If you look at what’s taken place in Michigan, which opened to adult-use on Dec. 1, the lines were extremely long,” he told The News-Gazette. “I’m anticipating here that, if the weather is bearable, I believe that we’ll be stacked up with people on Jan. 1.”
NuMed has been selling medical marijuana since it opened in 2016.
Business is doing “real well,” McGinnis said. “On our medical side of it, it gets better every month.”
Recreational customers will have pretty much the same menu of options that medical cannabis users have, McGinnis said.
“I believe there’s going to be a shortage of flower product available,” he said. “But we also feel that we’ll have plenty of edible and vape cartridges, as well as concentrates.”
Sales will be cash-only, he said, as marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, making many banks and credit card companies leery of handling transactions.
In anticipation of dispensaries being granted licenses, the cities of Champaign and Urbana both passed 3 percent sales taxes on marijuana sales. Champaign is expecting an additional $625,000 to $955,000 in annual revenue, and Urbana could see another $275,000 to $550,000 annually, according to city staff reports.
“We’re looking forward to working with them,” Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin said. “Hopefully, they’ll find a second location in Urbana.”
That’s the plan, McGinnis said.
The new license allows NuMed to sell medical and recreational marijuana out of its existing location starting Jan. 1, but “we automatically get another recreational license,” McGinnis said, so he’s looking for another location.
“We don’t have the building selected out. We’re looking at different buildings,” he said. “We’re going to stay in Urbana.”