Medical Marijuana Deal Reached in Pinckneyville

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By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Jared Roberts

PERRY CO. --  Another local community is pitching a plan to grow medical marijuana. Investors have reached a deal with Pinckneyville to try to open a cultivation center.

If the group can secure one of the 22 state licenses, the growing center would be set up in the old TUMS factory.
 
SI Farmacy is made up of investors from Perry County and St. Louis. They've been talking with Pinckneyville leaders for a few months. 
 
Monday night, they went to the city council to get formal support for their plan. It comes just weeks before the state starts taking applications from potential medical marijuana producers.
 
Joseph Domenick found his home on the east side of Pinckneyville back in 2011.
 
"I like the area," said Domenick. "Just right outside of town."
 
Investors are hoping to use a large facility, just a few lots down from Domenick, for medical marijuana cultivation. That means he could soon see new neighbors.
 
Although the idea has him and others wanting more information about security at the site, Domenick believes a cultivation center would help the region.
 
"That's what we want," said Domenick. "We want other businesses that would boost our local economy and our property value."
 
Technicolor Universal Media or TUMS left back in 2007, laying off hundreds of people in the process. Since then, the property has been purchased, but remained fairly deserted.
 
That's why some city leaders thinking that the building has potential to grow.
 
"They'll be using Pinckneyville utilities," said Commissioner David Stone. "We're talking about jobs, and we're talking about a little cash flow for the city."
 
The city council voted Monday night 4 to 1  in favor of making a deal with SI Farmacy, the company planning the project. Stone feels it's a smart move.
 
"We met with them individually and got kind a basic outline what was going on," said Stone. "What their expectations were, what they wanted to do."
 
Under the plan, the group would receive $200,000 to make upgrades to the factory and then $300,000 after getting the licenses. A percentage of marijuana sales would later pay back that money and more.
 
"The flip side of this is to not do it and continue to sit like we have been," said Stone. 
 
SI Farmacy predicts more than 30 jobs starting out. That number could rise as the cultivation center gets up and running.
 
However, first step will be finalizing the sale of the TUMS building from the current owner.
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