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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

DeKalb’s first recreational cannabis dispensary opens Friday

Michael Mollsen
Staff of the Excelleaf recreational cannabis dispensary help out customers during the soft launch. Excelleaf is hosting its grand opening from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at 305 E. Locust St. (Michael Mollsen | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Smoke weed everyday, or whatever Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg said. Excelleaf, DeKalb’s first recreational cannabis dispensary, will be soon hosting its upcoming grand opening.

Excelleaf, 305 E. Locust St., opens its doors for its grand opening at 9 a.m. Friday.

After being approved for its special permit back in February, Excelleaf had originally slated for an opening around the end of August. 

The dispensary’s opening had to be delayed due to construction and a wait on state inspections, according to Excelleaf’s Chief of Operations Nakia McAdoo.

Despite the delayed opening, McAdoo said Excelleaf is excited to introduce the company to DeKalb’s growing businesses and the college town.

“We met with the mayor and Bill Nicklas and Dan Olson, and they were just really open to the idea of having a dispensary in DeKalb,” McAdoo said. “They were really excited about it, and so that gave us a sense of like we could really set up shop here and build here in this town.”

Excelleaf’s recreational menu provides its customers with a variety of methods to consume cannabis including flower by the ounce, pre-rolled joints, edibles, topicals and more, according to its website.

Maria Davis, chief executive officer of Excelleaf, said the DeKalb dispensary sets itself apart from other dispensaries in the area by having owners who come from a health background.

“What I say about us is that we’re recreational with a touch of medicinal,” Davis said.

Similar to Davis, McAdoo said that Excelleaf plans to be customer centric while also providing their medical opinion, examining exactly what the customer wants out of their cannabis experience.

“I think we can take it a step further as medical professionals and talk a little bit more about ailments and what medications you’re taking for certain ailments,” McAdoo said.

Alongside having backgrounds in the medical field, the Excelleaf dispensary offers a unique perspective to the business by being both woman and minority-owned.

“I think that sets us apart,” McAdoo said. “I think with that, when you start to see diversity in this business, then you’ll see people with a slightly different version of the same thing, right. Your perspective and their take on this is going to be just a little bit different, and that’s great for the consumer.”

Although Excelleaf is just now opening its doors, McAdoo said she and the other owners are looking to expand the business to include an area where cannabis users could smoke in the building.

“Our goal is to have a consumption space,” McAdoo said.

In addition to a consumption space, McAdoo said the group wants to dedicate part of their building as a classroom space. 

Educational classes on how to roll joints, create cannabis cocktails, dose properly and treat ailments could soon be taught to the community, McAdoo said.

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