A report earlier this week said the slow doctor approval process could cause businesses that support the program to go under. The cultivation facility in Barry promised to bring more jobs, but managers there say the state is keeping them from doing that.
In February of the last year, Barry Mayor Shawn Rennecker said the jobs will be a boom to Barry and the region, and the secondary economic impact will be huge.
Lance Kendrick is the general manager of Revolution Cannabis. He said they are not at the level of production they want to be at because Governor Rauner doesn't approve some of the programs and doctors have only completed 15 percent of applicants needing the drugs.
"Besides myself, we have three other cultivators working here right now," Kendrick said. "As soon as we have a harvest, we will definitely need more hands on deck."
Revolution Cannabis in Barry is struggling because Kendrick says doctors need to make the application process easier for for patients.
"At the end of the year, there was about 30,000 people who had started the application process," Kendrick said. "This month to this date, there have only been about 4,400 people to actually complete it which is 15 percent."
Kendricks says if there was a higher application count, they could have 60 more people working in Barry but right now there is no need.
"We came to the company with jobs," Kendrick said. "The company made a large investment in the community and they definitely want to see it pay off. They want to see people get to work here."
Kendrick says 80 percent of Illinois people support medical marijuana and 67 percent want to expand the program. Lisa Fesler has lived in Barry her entire life and she thinks this could be big for the city.
"We have stores that are closing down and this could help bring in some more economic growth to our community," Fesler said.
California-based ArcView Market Research shows that Illinois marijuana businesses will fail if the slow pace of patient approvals continues. Kendrick thinks everything will be okay.
"We are optimistic that the program will go through just fine," Kendrick said. "The patient count is increasing. We are adding 400 patients a month."
Pike County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kaye Iftner said there have been setbacks at the center but the county is optimistic the facility will be an economic contribution once the program expands and adds new health conditions such as PTSD to the list.