Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Medical Marijuana Application Gets Community OK; Still Many Hurdles Remain

Tuesday night a representative from The Cannabis Group LLC made a presentation before the Winona Foster Carmen Winnemac (WFCW) Block Club about its proposed medical marijuana dispensary at 5001 North Clark (the former home of Pie Hole Pizza, er, Joint).

Block club members in good standing, residents living within 250 feet of the storefront, and local business owners voted on whether or not to support the proposed special use variance.

WFCW posted on its Facebook page Tuesday evening:

"Thank you to the 60+ neighbors who attended tonight's Block Club meeting. The WFCW Block Club Members voted in support of the Medical Cannabis Dispensary at 5001 N. Clark Street."

But a dispensary at that location is still far from a sure thing, even with community approval.
  • Gov. Quinn's departure from office Monday without issuing licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana puts the program in limbo for now, as Gov. Rauner will have to scramble to catch up.  Rauner said Tuesday that he will take time to assess the program and make sure it's being "managed properly."  He gave no timetable for his assessment of the program, which he has said he would have vetoed if he had been governor when it was approved.
  • The Cannabis Group LLC will have to go in front of Chicago's Zoning Board of Appeals to get a special use variance.  With Ald. Pawar's (presumed) approval, that shouldn't be much of a problem.  The ZBA almost always defers to the alderman's wishes. 
  • Then it goes to the state level, and this is where the selection process becomes highly competitive.  Illinois law limits the total number of dispensaries in the state to 60.  Only 13 of those 60 will be inside Chicago.  As of last September, over 200 applications for dispensaries had been filed statewide.
So it may be a while before we see legal pot being sold on Clark Street, even if The Cannabis Group LLC is awarded one of Chicago's 13 dispensary licenses.

Update:  We are told that "The NUNA [North Uptown Neighbors Association] block club also gets to vote on this dispensary. We will be voting at our meeting on February 4th."  According to Edgeville Buzz, there will also be community meetings hosted by Andersonville Chamber of Commerce and Uptown Business Partners.


  1. Wait! So a "block club" has a vote where 60 people voted on "something" (exact totals for and against were what, exactly?), and now you PRESUME the Alderman and community supports this?

    There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people living within 250 feet of this location who were unaware of this meeting. I don't belong to this "block club" and was never notified of any meeting or vote on this. My neighbors weren't aware of it either. Sounds to me like someone crafted some select voters at this meeting to attain the results that they were looking for

    I, personally, will be contacting Ald. Pawar to protest this contrived "vote". This is hardly an indication that the "Medical Marijuana Application Gets Community OK". This is a complete joke, the kind of thing that is standard around here!

  2. Thank God the people who need this will have access to it.

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  4. I just don't know how you could be against people who honestly need it as medication. How closed minded do you have to be...

    - Sarah