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Cannabis grower’s community investment

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DELAVAN CULTIVATION CENTER

So far, Illinois has seen more than $19 million in recreational marijuana sales since it became legal on January 1st.

Revolution Enterprises, started growing medical cannabis in Delavan back in 2015 and has grown with the legalization of adult recreational use.

As they expand and continue to support development in Delavan, community members had a chance to share their thoughts with the CEO at a town hall meeting on Tuesday.

Revolution Enterprises said once their new expansion is complete, they will have over 650,000 sq ft of growing facilities as well as greenhouses, doubling their size.

That property is annexed into the city as a TIF district, generating a lot for Delavan.

"They city will be looking at a minimum of $11 million through the life of the TIF. The school district will be realizing at least $3 million. That's huge for any community, but especially for a small community like Delavan." said Mayor Liz Skinner

The company said there will be a lot of opportunities for well paying employment with benefits, but you will have to be patient.

"It takes us, after deciding to hire somebody, up to a month and half, two months just to get them in the facility." said Eric Diekhoff, E.V.P. - operations, board of directors for Revolution

"They'll be the largest employer in Delavan if they get to that 300 threshold." said Mayor Skinner, referring to the 300 jobs they anticipate will be at the expanded facility.

Delavan has a population of about 2,000 people and they have struggled with a dwindling downtown business district. Revolution now owns buildings downtown such as the old Harvest Cafe, with plans to help.

"As these new folks come in and add to the body politic, they're going to need services. They're going to need restaurants, they're going to need doctors, and helping to revitalize the downtown strip I think is a positive way our business can impact the community." said Mark de Souza, the CEO of Revolution Enterprises

Community members asked if they would be putting a dispensary into any of the properties.

"The short answer is absolutely not." said de Souza

"I like the idea that they're preserving Delavan as a manufacturing town, as opposed to a dispensary town." said Delavan resident Joe Flint

Revolution expects to complete their expansion by 2022.

Kaitlin Pearson

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