Dispensary gains approval for downtown DeKalb location


The recently approved building for Excelleaf Dispensary sits vacant on Tuesday afternoon at 305 E. Locust St. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Rachel Cormier, News Reporter

DeKALB – The DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission approved the special permit for the location of a cannabis dispensary, Excelleaf Dispensary, at a public hearing.

The dispensary location was approved for downtown DeKalb at 305 E. Locust St, formerly the Vibrant Credit Union building. The expected date for the dispensary’s opening is unknown, as the dispensary is pending approval from the DeKalb City Council, but would mark the first cannabis business in the city and DeKalb county since recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2020.

DeKalb has seen previous attempts for a dispensary on Lincoln Highway, but Excelleaf Dispensary is the first location to have obtained a state conditional use permit prior to their request.

Founding partner Nakia McAdoo and representative Crystal Anderson of Canndid Spirit Too LLC presented the plans for the dispensary at the meeting, which was held on Monday at the DeKalb Public Library.

“We’re happy on the fact we were approved with only a little bit of fighting,” McAdoo said. “It’s been a long journey since 2015.”

The board approved the permit under the condition that marijuana would be prohibited from being smoked onsite and that the business would need to discuss a security plan with the DeKalb Police Department.

The dispensary suggested business hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., along with providing a wheelchair ramp. There will be an online service for purchasing cannabis products to meet the demands of the location, McAdoo said.

This property satisfied the city’s setback ordinance that required the location to be 250 feet from nurseries and several levels of academic and educational buildings. It would also abide by Illinois laws, only allowing individuals 21 and older for employment and business.

“There’s no violation setbacks we’ve determined,” City Manager Bill Nicklas said. “People are gonna go, and they’re gonna leave.”