US (IL): Delays in special session driving up costs for MMJ growers

$48 million in new construction and 250 high-paying jobs are on tap for Madison County, contingent on the passage of legalizing medical cannabis.

In November, voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 65, a measure that legalized clinical cannabis. However, the results were struck down by the state’s high court, and many growers hoping to move forward on constructing facilities were put in a holding pattern, waiting for the legislature to pass a bill authorizing the drug’s use.

At least a couple of growers in Madison County had to hit the brakes following the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision, including Southern Sky Brands, which is planning to open a growing facility south of Nissan Parkway in Canton.

They say the delay has run up construction costs to about $10 million. “We’ve been sitting on the sideline for 10 months. In that 10-month timeline, with just the delay and now the increase in construction costs, our facility costs $10 million more than it did 10 months ago,” said Justin Mahfouz, founder of Southern Sky. “Things we sourced and procured a year ago that would have taken a million dollars and eight weeks (to get) now costs $4 million and you can get it in eight months if you’re lucky.”


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