By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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LOVES PARK — The region’s newest marijuana dispensary intends to offer a long list of products without the long lines cannabis customers have been accustomed to.
Inside the new shop you’ll find a bright, white, open shopping space with dozens of products behind locked glass displays. It offers more than 350 items ranging from flower and prerolled joints to edibles and vapes.
Customers who arrive at the store can scan a QR code on their smartphone and be notified when it’s their turn to enter the shop, something the store hopes will quell the need to stand in line. The shop also encourages people to order online and pick up at the site.
“We really want to get away from the idea of the line. I hate it,” said Amy Manganelli, chief operating officer of Mapleglen Care Center, the sister shop of The Happy Cannabis Co. “We’re just trying to have a controlled environment and not waste people’s time.”
Mapleglen, at 4777 Stenstrom Road on Rockford’s south side, was one of the area’s first marijuana dispensaries. The other is Sunnyside, 2696 McFarland Road, Rockford.
Mapgleglen opened for medical marijuana users in 2015 and added recreational use in 2020. The Happy Cannabis Co. is the second dispensary it’s licensed to operate in the area.
The store is independently operated, so it doesn’t buy from any one cultivator. That helps provide it with a better variety of products, Manganelli said.
“You wouldn’t want to go into a Binny’s and see wines from two wine growers or 10 wine growers. You want the full experience,” she sad. “That is what we are offering. The other thing we’re offering is a really lovely shopping experience.”
Shopping for recreational marijuana can be intimidating at some places, and Manganelli said customers should feel comfortable visiting The Happy Cannabis Co. with their questions and to see the full range of products.
“I don’t know how somebody who’s new can go on to a dispensary menu and make an intelligent purchase,” Manganelli said. “It’s OK if they leave here with no product but a little education.”
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About | The Happy Cannabis Co.
Where: 4120 N. Bell School Road, Loves Park
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday