Woodstock’s first marijuana business eyes April 1 opening, wants to be dispensary this year

Six Labs will initially offer infusion and transportation

Woodstock City Council approved a special use permit for a marijuana business at 1411 S. Eastwood Drive, in Woodstock, which may help the business open up in town earlier than expected. The permit adjusts its operation to temporarily allow just transportation and infusion for up to two years at the site of the former Golf and Games.

Nearly a year after receiving permission to adjust its operation to help it open quicker, Woodstock’s first marijuana business is hoping to open its doors in April.

Six Labs Inc., which is aiming to open a marijuana business that could one day incorporate all three types of licenses available from the state, is planning to launch on April 1, co-founder Joseph Ori said Friday.

The business will be at 1411 S. Eastwood Drive, north of Route 14, which previously hosted a Golf and Games miniature golf site. Much of the construction needed to prep the site started in November last year and included tearing out the mini golf course, along with fencing and landscaping work.

“I’d say the site is about 60% ready,” Ori said.

When the business opens, it will start as an infusion and transportation business, Ori said.

Six Labs is trying to obtain a dispensary license. In the coming weeks, it will seek approval from the city for that kind of business.

If all goes well, the goal will be to open up the dispensary-side of the business by the end of the year. At least, it would happen in early 2024, Ori said.

The third part of the business — craft-growing — is much more in flux, Ori said.

Lawsuits going through the state are still being sorted out, and as a result, Six Labs is still waiting to receive its license. It’s not known when that might happen.

“The state is about two years behind on those,” Woodstock Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson said.

Questions also remain about what the transportation side of the business might look like, Ori said. Based on state law, there’s a chance the business will only be allowed to transport its own goods once opened.

The hope is to eventually be able to expand the transportation part of the business and ship the products of other companies too, Ori said.

On the infusion side, Ori clarified that the business will not be allowed to handle marijuana plants. Instead, it will only be able to use distillates, such as CBD and THC, derived from the marijuana plant.

It will take those ingredients and infuse it with things such as food, drinks and topical ointments, Ori said.

“We can put the ingredients in anything that isn’t smokable,” Ori said. “We’re rolling out with several different products.”

Six Labs was approved to open up a business in Woodstock in the summer of 2020, but since then has been waiting on state licensing to be finalized.

In April 2022, the business received permission from the city to adjust its permit, allowing it to open as just an infusion and transportation business while it waited for its craft growing license. That adjusted permit will expire in April of next year.

Six Labs is one of three marijuana businesses Woodstock approved in 2020, and is expected to be the first to open. The company is based in Michigan and has dozens of locations around the state. Its location in Woodstock will be its first in Illinois, according to its website.

The other two businesses that were approved by Woodstock in 2020 are still waiting for licensing from the state, Anderson said. No updates are available on those.

While recreational marijuana has been legal in Illinois for more than three years, it’s been slow in developing in McHenry County. RISE Lake in the Hills was the first dispensary in the area, opening in March 2021.

In Crystal Lake, their first dispensary opened in late January, and held a ribbon cutting on Thursday.