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Cannabis operator opens adult-use store in Metropolis

MariMed Inc., a multistate cannabis operator focused on health and wellness, will open its fourth adult-use Illinois dispensary under its Illinois “Thrive” retail brand.

The new store will open on Wednesday, May 5, with a ribbon-cutting celebration featuring Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel.

Located at 1551 E. Fifth St., Thrive Metropolis, which is situated close to the Illinois/Kentucky border, is expected to be one of MariMed’s most successful dispensaries, CEO Bob Fireman said. It will be the first dispensary in the community and the only one the city has said it intends to license.

Metropolis is famous as the fictional hometown of legendary DC Comics superhero Superman. Many fans come the city annually to visit the Super Museum and related attractions.

The city also generates significant tourism traffic to Harrah’s riverboat casino and the popular Fort Massacre campgrounds.

“We are thrilled to bring the first adult-use cannabis dispensary to Metropolis and are incredibly grateful for their unwavering support throughout the development process,” said Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed. “Illinois has been a very strong market for MariMed and our other three dispensaries in the state. We anticipate Thrive Metropolis will be another strong performer, helping us seize. the robust southern Illinois cannabis market opportunity. The opening of this dispensary is the latest advancement in our strategic plan to grow our footprint in markets that offer unique opportunities to generate significant revenues.”

“The City of Metropolis warmly welcomes MariMed and Thrive Metropolis to our community and we look forward to a long, healthy and prosperous relationship,” said Mayor Billy McDaniel. “MariMed has been successfully operating under its Thrive retail brand in highly-regulated markets not only in Southern Illinois, but across multiple states. The partnership between Metropolis and Thrive will create new jobs and improve property values while infusing new and substantial revenues into the local economy.  This business should also provide business opportunities for other local entrepreneurs.”

Thrive Metropolis follows MariMed’s design concept implemented throughout its regional storefronts, accented by contemporary wood tones and soft colors to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for patients and customers. Featuring nine cashier stations and 13 in-store ordering kiosk pods, the dispensary was built to move customers through the purchasing process efficiently. The store’s consultation room provides customers with a private space to talk with a trained store associate.

“We are so grateful to the Metropolis community for their cooperation and warm welcoming,” said Rosie Naumovski, Illinois general manager and head of Illinois compliance at MariMed. “We plan to initially hire 20 to 30 full-time and part-time employees and look forward to becoming an engaged part of the local community through cultural activities and initiatives that make Metropolis so special.”

The company notes that Illinois’ adult-use market has experienced rapid growth since recreational sales began on Jan. 1, 2020, with sales reaching $669 million in its first full year of operation. With medical cannabis sales of more than $331 million between January 2020 and November 2020, Illinois’ total cannabis sales in 2020 well exceeded $1 billion and is predicted to increase substantially in 2021. In March of 2021, state cannabis sales hit a monthly high of $109 million in adult sales alone with out-of-state visitors accounting for 31 percent.

MariMed’s opening of Thrive Metropolis represents part of the company’s national strategy to expand its retail footprint and increase revenues. In 2020, MariMed opened its third adult-use dispensary in Illinois, located in Mount Vernon, and another in Middleborough, Massachusetts, with two additional dispensaries under development in the state. The company’s 2020 revenues increased 207 percent from the year prior, driven by its continued consolidation of cannabis operations and increases in the performance of its managed facilities in multiple states.

Photo from the MariMed website.

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