Family-owned trucking co. turns to cannabis to try to keep the doors open

Sorce Enterprises

The owner of a small Illinois trucking company is trying an unusual tactic to generate new revenue and keep workers employed.

East Peoria-based Sorce Enterprises is a third generation family-run food distribution trucking company that employs 23 people.

Last year, hundreds of trucking companies shut down for good as a number of circumstances including increased regulatory burdens, insurance costs, and a freight recession have made for tough times in trucking.

But Sorce Enterprises company owner Roy Sorce is trying a new tactic to keep his business afloat — namely, a legal cannabis-growing side hustle.

On Monday, the East Peoria Zoning Board of Appeals approved Sorce Enterprises’ request for a permit to begin a marijuana growing operation. The company must still acquire a state license to grow and distribute marijuana products, but they’ve taken a big step in moving forward with their cultivation operation.

Sorce told Central Illinois Proud, “The food distribution industry has changed a lo. Competition’s increased and the players are getting larger and larger. We’re a smaller family business and I want to make sure my employees have long term jobs in this area.”

One of the major hurdles standing in the way of Sorce Enterprises’ cannabis cultivation plan is a zoning stipulation — a daycare is located across the street from company headquarters, and the zoning commission says that Sorce’s operation must be 1000 feet away from the daycare. Sorce is working on ways to meet this requirement.

The state of Illinois will grant 115 licenses to businesses throughout the state for marijuana cultivation in the wake of a new law that made marijuana sales legal on January 1, 2020.