Jacksonville Dispensary Aims for Soft Opening Next Week

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 27, 2023 at 11:06am

The area’s first-ever cannabis dispensary is on track to open soon.

CEO of Kush 21, Michale Beraki says his hope is that the new dispensary located on Veterans Drive in Jacksonville will be holding a soft opening the first week of February.

Beraki and his business partner Kenny Pleasant currently own ten cannabis dispensaries in the state of Washington and after much effort are growing closer to opening their first in the State of Illinois here in Jacksonville.

Beraki says they have not ordered product just yet as workers continue to put the finishing touches on the facility, but hopes their first orders will be placed and arrive soon.

Kush 21 is a recreational cannabis retail dispensary located in the former home of D.P. Express at 1112 Veterans Drive and was granted a license by the State of Illinois late last year.

Beraki says once open, Kush 21 will offer cannabis products ranging from smokeable flower to oils and gummy products. He says contrary to popular belief a majority of customers come to a dispensary not looking for a high, but a natural form of relief.

Back in Washington [State] we have people who would normally take Acetaminophen, Vicodin, all those pain medications, and once they switched to cannabis, it could be tincture, it could be lotion, it could be edible, whatever it might be but typically just a good ratio of CBD and THC, they normally give up their medications.”

Beraki stresses that Kush 21 is strictly a recreational use dispensary, however products they sell can be used to help relieve conditions ranging from anxiety to arthritis.

Beraki says they have also spared no expense in not only renovating the building but adding security measures beyond what is required by the State of Illinois in an effort to make the community feel safe about their facility.

Actually the State of Illinois is very strict when it comes to security. So believe it or not, we spent over two hundred thousand dollars in terms of making sure this dispensary is secure. We have forty plus cameras and they are high-def.

We have every security inside and we’ll also have a physical security person that will be also outside, so security was a main concern for the state and the city, so we are addressing it. So actually this is one of the safest places you can come.”

Beraki says the State of Illinois has much stricter regulations than they find back in Washington State, with specifics ranging from security measures for the facility, product, and staff, to the type of product they sell.

We’re supposed to support craft cannabis, the craft growers. So for me, that is a win-win. So we want to have every variety, every selection, and craft growers always produce small but high quality so we will definitely be carrying a variety.”

Beraki says his group has already been in contact with members of the Wyvern Botanicals ownership group who plan to open a cannabis craft grow facility in the former AC Humko plant on East Morton Avenue. He says once their operation is established and begins selling products, they will be the first in line to purchase Jacksonville-grown cannabis for retail sale.