Green Thumb Industries and another dispensary met resistance over security in Chicago’s 27th Ward; Illinois Grown Medicine explained its cultivation center plan in Colona; and jobs hiring may finally begin soon.
Mixed views in Chicago’s 27th Ward
Gazette Chicago published an article demonstrating how difficult it is to be a dispensary. (See Gazette Chicago article: Burnett supports marijuana dispensaries; community groups express opposition)
In Chicago’s 27th Ward, Alderman Walter Burnett favors dispensaries:
“I feel we have sick people in our ward and they should have access to medicine that’s going to help them,” Burnett said. Noting medical marijuana helps people with cancer, Crohn’s disease, HIV, and lupus, he added, “People living in our ward should have access—just like everywhere else.”
Gazette Chicago says Burnett is nonetheless concerned about dispensaries’ security. The article says Burnett supports Edward Burke’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment which would require cultivation centers and dispensaries to have a private security contractor’s manned presence at facilities 24-7. (The ordinance is opposed by mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti as an abuse of the City’s Home Rule Authority).
Burnett introduced 2 dispensaries to local community groups
According to Gazette Chicago:
Burnett asked representatives of the two businesses applying to the City’s zoning board of appeals for permits for marijuana dispensaries at 955 W. Lake St. and 1105 W. Fulton St. to present to local community groups. Those who have heard their pitches remained unconvinced.
What a dispensary looks like (Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance)
Among the criticisms:
Bob Aiken, a member of the 27th Ward economic development committee representing the Neighbors of the West Loop, noted a review of the proposed Lake Street dispensary left unanswered questions—mainly about security and future planning.
While dispensaries might initially expect 15 patrons per day, in a few years that number could escalate to 70 or 80 patrons per day, and Aiken asked how officials will manage that increase along with loitering and additional business hours. His group is compiling questions and feedback for a future meeting.
The dispensary applicant on Lake St. is GTI.
The West Central Association met with Ben Kovler of Green Thumb Industries, LLC, who proposes the Lake Street dispensary at the current site of Dr. Graphx, a large format print shop. While noting his group did not support the dispensary due to organizational concerns and a location right off the elevated stop, Armando Chacon, association president, added, “It’s going to be the law of the land. Formulating a position on this is challenging.
IGM woos Colona
Illinois Grown Medicine held a meeting in Colona for the purpose of educating the community about its plan. The company is one of six who seek the cultivation center license in Illinois State Police District 7.
According to Quad-Cities Online (Medical marijuana farm could bring $367,000 to Colona):
Only one firm will receive a license in State Police District 7 that includes Henry, Rock Island, Knox and Mercer counties. IGM submitted its application in September and Paul Rosenfeld of the firm on Tuesday night said the district also has two applicants from Rock Island, two from Galesburg and one from unincorporated Knox County.
The Quad-Cities Online article doesn’t explain who performed these estimations or how they arrived at them, but:
It’s estimated Illinois will have 60,000 medical marijuana patients in 2017 and the state’s 21 cultivation centers would have gross sales of $250 million. Mr. Rosenfeld said Illinois’ program is a four-year pilot project that won’t be renewed if done wrong.
IGM’s proposed Colona center projects $14.7 million in annual revenue in 2017. Under an agreement with city officials, Colona’s share would be $367,000 annually, composed of 1.5 percent of gross sales as well as 1 percent for city infrastructure fees.
As for the design of Illinois Grown Medicine’s proposed cultivation center:
Mr. Rosenfeld said the proposed $25 million Colona facility would be 100,000 square feet with a possible greenhouse expansion of similar size in the future. The industry norm is two to three harvests per year, he said, but IGM’s expert recommend smaller, bushier plants that could yield five harvests per year.
IGM says it has assistance from companies in Canada and California:
Mr. Rosenfeld said all of IGM’s investors are from Illinois, but the firm is using cultivation experts from Sonoma, Calif., and has a strategic partnership with CCC, a Canadian firm, because Canada has a federal medical cannabis program.
Jobs Creation is next for Pilot Program
Licenses are about to be awarded, which means Illinois can finally start realizing the economic benefits of legalizing the market. Builders and other contractors will start right away preparing cultivation centers and dispensaries for operation. Meanwhile the management teams of licensees can finally start reviewing the credentials of Illinois’ strong workforce.
VALLERIUS GROUP PROVIDES SPECIALIZED RECRUITING
Vallerius Group understands the employment needs of cultivation centers and dispensaries. Our service is tailored for the rare and unique circumstances of the Pilot Program.
Licensees: Call Bradley Vallerius to learn how we can help you. 480-382-5537
Prospective employees: Please see our information and send us your resume.