Metro-East News

ESL planning commission cancels meeting to discuss medical pot farm

The East St. Louis Planning Commission canceled the meeting it had set for 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss plans to open an indoor medical marijuana farm at a location in the city.

Progressive Treatment Solutions LLC, the Chicago-area firm licensed by the state to open the cannabis cultivation center, had planned to have representatives on hand to answer residents’ questions about the farm.

The planning commission hearing was canceled because it was determined to be unnecessary, said Mayor Alvin Parks Jr.

The city’s current zoning rules allow for a business such a marijuana farm in the part of East St. Louis where it will be located, Parks said.

“There was no need for that hearing,” he said. “The zoning is already in place.”

The proposed location is at 737 Locust Ave., off Illinois 3, near the new Interstate 70 approach to the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The site covers 6.7 acres and includes a vacant U.S Cellular switching station. Progressive bought the site for $700,000 — or less than one-sixth its construction price in 2001, county records show. An 8-foot-high chain link fence topped by razor wire surrounds the 20,000-square-foot building. An electrically-operated gate controls access to it.

Progressive Treatment Solutions will likely move into the repurposed facility later this month and hopes to harvest its first crop of medical marijuana by October.

Under the pilot program that allows for the cultivation and sale of medical cannabis, the marijuana that’s grown at the Progressive indoor farm can only be sold to dispensaries operating in the state of Illinois, including the dispensaries set to open in Sauget and Collinsville.