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Anna medical cannabis facility shows off new digs

ANNA — Gorgi and Rosie Naumovski opened the doors of their second medical marijuana dispensary to the public Friday afternoon in Anna.

Although the dispensary, Thrive Anna, is not officially licensed by the state, city officials and the public were allowed to tour the facility and see behind the scenes before it becomes a secure facility.

Gorgi Naumovski said the dispensary is looking to open on May 2, which means in order to enter the facility, patients will need a medical card or be a caregiver.

The Anna facility is close to a mirror image of the Harrisburg facility — Thrive Harrisburg.

In Anna, it’s located at 87 Richview Drive, and is 3,400 square feet. On top of smoking delivery mechanisms, oil and edibles in the form of gummy worms are available.

Local cultivation facility Wellness Group Pharms has product in the Anna dispensary. Naumovski said it is important to offer locally grown product.

“We like to support each other. We are in the same town,” he said. “They support us and we support them.”

He said the reviews for the local cultivation facility have been favorable.

As for the business of the Harrisburg facility, which opened in March, Naumovski said it has been a slow process and many people are figuring out how to be patients. He said the dispensary can provide information on the process, but can’t recommend a physician.

He said there are a lot of patients coming from the Marion location — Harbory — to the Anna or Harrisburg locations, and there are no costs affiliated with transferring.

Naumovski has received some help from Tyler Burke, a consultant with MariMed Advisors.

Burke said he was there to train staff and management on the best practices from the beginning of the program instead of struggling through the first couple years.

“Most people in Illinois were savvy enough to bring in consultants,” he said.

Burke has been creating edibles and working in cultivation centers for the past five years. He is also a patient and has appeared on the Iron Chef television series. He said his experience in the kitchen has led to success in industry.

“I have taken my cooking experience and have applied it toward cultivation and then toward extraction,” he said. “Then it is all completed and circled back around when I started to make some of the other products and consulting.”

As for as the future of the medical marijuana pilot program in Illinois, Naumovski said he is optimistic the program with be extended at least two more years.

“Because we are two years behind,” he said as why the program could be extended. “After that we will have some really good data to move on the next level.

“This is a business. There is no certainty in any business. You do our projections and hope it pans out that way.”

The pilot program expires at the end of 2017.