Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operator, has completed the first harvest from its expanded cultivation facility in Lincoln, Illinois. With the recent growth of the state’s medical market and adult-use legalization going live on January 1, 2020, Cresco has been scaling operations to be able to accommodate what is expected to be one of the largest cannabis markets in the country.
As the only operator in Illinois with three cultivation facilities, Cresco has been able to capture an approximate 25 percent market share through its original 35,000 square feet of aggregate cultivation space. Earlier this year, after the expansion of the medical program and the passing of adult-use legislation, the company embarked on an ambitious expansion plan that will bring the total area under cultivation to approximately 243,000 square feet by year end.
At the Lincoln location alone, Cresco has created the largest cultivation facility in Illinois at roughly 224,000 square feet and added over 140,000 square feet of additional indoor and greenhouse cultivation space. First production from the initial phases of this expansion was harvested last week. Cresco is legally entitled to expand its three facilities to have an aggregate total of 630,000 square feet of flowering canopy—the largest capacity footprint in the state.
“Cresco Labs has worked tirelessly to bring additional capacity to the Illinois cannabis market. The beneficial changes in the medical law created a rapid increase in demand that has recently outpaced supply,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder. “With this first harvest out of the expanded Lincoln facility, we are thrilled to bring this additional capacity to the patients of Illinois and the consumers in the soon to launch adult-use program.”
On October 6, 2019, Cresco Labs received Early Approval Adult-Use Dispensing Organization Licenses for all five of its existing Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries, making it the first company in the state to be approved for both adult-use cultivation and dispensary operations. The company successfully won three Chicago adult-use dispensary locations including two in the heavily trafficked Central district for the five additional dispensaries permitted to open in that district.
“With the scale of this expansion phase, additional incremental production from the expansion areas will gradually increase, ramping up for market distribution starting now and accelerating late Q1 through Q2. The ability to restock shelves reliably to ensure customers always have access to product is key to both generating solid financial results and building long-term customer loyalty with medical patients and adult-use consumers.”