At least three separate groups have asked Peru, Illinois Mayor Scott Harl for a letter of support to operate a medical cannabis cultivation center. Peru is in LaSalle County and within the television viewing market of several major Illinois population centers, including Chicago, Peoria, the Quad Cities, and Rockford.
Apparently Peru’s Mayor is reluctant to provide any applicant with a letter, but that doesn’t mean he objects to his city receiving the benefits of new enterprise.
According to an article in today’s Illinois Valley News Tribune:
The companies are assembling applications to the state this summer and wrote letters to Peru asking for recommendations, Harl told the City Council Monday.
While he has no objections to the business, Harl does not support providing letters of recommendation, he said.
“Personally, I don’t think we should do that,” Harl said, then adding: “I haven’t had any pushback from the community.”
The News Tribune article attributes a very wise quote to Alderman Jim Lukosus:
“If somebody is going to benefit from the economic activity, which shouldn’t it be us?”
Alderman Mike Sapienza also made a wise point:
“If Bayer Aspirin wanted to move in we’d welcome them with open arms. It’s just another medication.”
There is, however, one statement in the article that is pretty far out of touch with reality. It appears the mayor was told a cultivation center creates 100 jobs. This figure is way off base though.
A cultivation center ranging in size from 20,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet will likely employ no more than 20 or 30 employees. The payroll demands alone of a 100-person team would propel startup costs far beyond their already astronomical level. And of course, there simply are not enough duties for 100 people. Nor would you want that many people passing through your facility, for the sake of keeping the plants free from biological contaminants and other impurities.
An initial staffing plan calls for a basic executive management team, just like an other production business, plus a hierarchy of cultivators, a few security and transportation personnel, a small team devoted to infused products and edibles, packaging and labeling, and inventory, and a handful of other positions, depending on the dynamics of the team. There is a lot of room for creativity, but not beyond 20 or 3o people unfortunately.
But let’s not forget about the substantial economic benefits that will be received by consultants, building contractors, designers, architects, and goods and services providers.
Peru is in District 17… May the odds be ever in your favor.