East Dubuque City Council approves new cannabis dispensary business

Greg Lehman, of Lehman Painting, sprays lacquer onto wooden seating in the lobby of the future home of an adult-use cannabis dispensary on Illinois 35 in East Dubuque, Ill. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. — East Dubuque City Council members have agreed to allow a recreational marijuana dispensary to operate in the city.

City Council members on Thursday voted, 6-0, to approve a special use permit to allow The Dispensary, LLC, to operate an adult-use cannabis dispensary from a building located at 1705 Illinois 35.

The dispensary, which is currently scheduled to open April 20, will be the second recreational cannabis business in Jo Daviess County and the first in East Dubuque.

The Dispensary, LLC, currently operates a medical marijuana business in Fulton, Ill. The business has also been approved by the state to sell recreational products at both the Fulton and East Dubuque facilities.

While the East Dubuque store will initially operate as a retailer of cannabis products, company officials intend to eventually open a consumption lounge on the property, as well. Dan Dolan, owner of The Dispensary, LLC, has previously said he also plans to construct additional buildings that will bring in more commercial businesses to the area to promote tourism.

City documents state that the company intends to add 50 more parking spaces to the property, and company officials estimate they will see up to 150 customers per day at the dispensary.

Dolan said he will work with the city to make sure the business is operating in full compliance with the city’s desires.

“It’s all about collaboration,” he said. “We look forward to working with the community.”

City Council members also approved a resolution that will prohibit any other recreational cannabis business from opening within 15,000 feet of The Dispensary, LLC’s location, per the company’s request. City Manager Loras Herrig said the council can alter that ordinance in the future.

“Exceptions to this requirement may be made depending on extenuating circumstances,” he said.

Herrig said the business could generate an additional $250,000 in revenue for the city annually.

City documents state that the company intends to hire up to 30 employees for the East Dubuque location. The business will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will be closed on Sundays.

Mayor Kirk VanOstrand said after the meeting that he believes the community will welcome the business.

“We’re excited and happy that they are here,” he said. “The general public and the City Council and me and the city manager are looking forward to having the new business.”

Council Member Randy Degenhardt also offered his support for the business following the meeting.

“It’s going to be a home run for the community,” he said. “It’s going to be well regulated, and everything should be safe.”

While Illinois has legalized adult-use recreational marijuana, customers who purchase the products and live in Iowa or Wisconsin cannot bring them across state lines.