AP Exclusive: Hope buds over legal medical marijuana harvest in rural southern Illinois town

ALBION, Ill. (AP) — It’s harvest time in southeastern Illinois. And in one city that means not just corn, but medical marijuana.

(Credit: jcamilobernal)
(Credit: jcamilobernal)

The Associated Press recently gained an exclusive look at Illinois’ first legal marijuana crop, and the new farmland ritual beginning amid the cornfields surrounding the historic town of Albion.

A company called Ataraxia is harvesting medical marijuana that will soon be sold in dispensaries around the state.

Ataraxia is the first center to make it to the finish line after running a gantlet of state requirements.

For the company to find a home in sleepy Albion is paradoxical. Stores can’t sell package liquor, but marijuana has been welcomed as a badly needed source of jobs. A comical T-shirt for sale says the town is “High and Dry.”