SOUTH BELOIT — After opening to strong customer demand in the community, Cresco Labs CEO Jason Erkes said the team at Sunnyside marijuana dispensary is eager to educate people on the health benefits of cannabis.

“South Beloit has welcomed us with open arms, and they saw the benefits right away,” Erkes said.

Sunnyside opened in July 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the months since, business has continued to grow.

During the average week, Erkes said Sunnyside draws upwards of 7,000 customers, with around 600 to 800 people visiting the store every day.

“Things have been going really well and business has been growing month after month. It’s a greater community to be a part of,” Erkes said. “We kind of anchor that area there—it’s drawing so many people to the area.”

Erkes said cannabis use covers a few main categories: Those are wellness, recreation and pain relief.

Many people are focusing on personal wellness and have begun using cannabis to help get through stresses related to the pandemic, Erkes said. He added that various forms of cannabis can help when coping with sleep loss, anxiety, physical pain or simply providing an escape.

For some customers, Erkes said cannabis serves as a replacement

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