Meeting to Discuss Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 11, at 6:30 p.m., Ald. Silverstein is hosting a community meeting with Bob Kingsley, the owner of the medical marijuana dispensary proposed for 6501 North Western Avenue. Some of the staff of the dispensary, the Green Gate Compassion Center, are also expected to attend.

Both supporters and opponents of the proposed dispensary are expected to turn out for a full discussion of issues related to the business. Among the issues expected to be raised are the facts that the business is cash-only, that it requires round-the-clock, seven-day-a-week security, and that it would be located next to Warren Park. The alderman has been clear that her opposition to the dispensary is based solely on its location next to a park where children play.

She has met privately with Mr. Kingsley over the summer to discuss her opposition. The community meeting is a result of those discussions.

It was revealed today by the Chicago Sun-Times that, as part of the state’s budgetary crisis, all seven state investigators charged with overseeing both the growers and the sellers of medical marijuana have been laid off.  Their contracts may be renewed once the budget battle has been settled but for now oversight will be handled by other staffers.

Mr. Kingsley has said that he will hire neighborhood residents to staff the dispensary, especially the disabled and military veterans. The business will generate sales taxes. Mr. Kingsley’s proposal includes a full redevelopment of the site. Both the site renderings and a petition in support of the dispensary can be accessed here.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will be conducting a hearing on the proposed dispensary on August 21 at 2 p.m. in the City Council Chambers (second floor, City Hall). Any individuals who wish to speak before the Board may sign up before the meeting; sign-up sheets will be located in the back of the room. [This was the procedure at the first hearing, which was postponed until next week.]

The petition referred to above will be presented at that time.

Tuesday’s community meeting will take place at the Croatian Cultural Center, 2845 West Devon Avenue.

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