IL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Eyeing Site At North And Throop

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Katelyn Baker

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Goose Island - A medical marijuana dispensary is eyeing a site that sits in a "buffer zone" of the Clybourn Corridor, a Planned Manufacturing District that doesn't allow many types of development, including dispensaries.

In an effort to move the proposal along, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) recently introduced legislation that would open up all 15 industrial districts in the city to medical marijuana dispensaries. It's the latest move by Hopkins to update such districts.

"It makes sense to look at" Planned Manufacturing Districts, Hopkins said in an interview. "There's so much available land in the [Clybourn Corridor] that could be used [for a dispensary.] It seems like a logical choice."

Hopkins said the dispensary is eyeing buildings at the corner of North Avenue and Throop Street across the street from the Home Depot, 1232 W. North Ave. He couldn't provide the name of the company, saying the plan is in its very early stages.

The masonry buildings sit in a "buffer zone" of the Clybourn Corridor, which is on the outskirts of the district.

Since there are no homes in the Clybourn Corridor, the dispensary would be "almost invisible" to residents, which Hopkins called "ideal."

That could very well change, though.

Hopkins wants to scrap the Clybourn Corridor's industrial zoning designation. He envisions the district as a mix of residential, retail and office properties combined with open, public space. After Hopkins made his vision public, the city has decided to re-evaluate the districts.

When asked if those changes could be an issue for the dispensary plan, Hopkins said it was a possibility.

Still, he said he doesn't expect much opposition to the proposal, which he expects to go to City Council for a vote sometime this summer.

"We'll cross the bridge when we come it," Hopkins said.

North Branch Works, an organization that opposes scrapping the area's industrial zoning designation, supports the dispensary legislation, Hopkins said.

Clybourn Corridor, which includes 115 acres roughly bounded by the Chicago River, and Clybourn, North and Southport avenues, became the city's first Planned Manufacturing District in 1988. Today, there are 15 industrial districts.

If the City Council approves Hopkins' plan, dispensaries will be allowed in the city's 14 other industrial districts as well, which Hopkins said could help thousands of qualifying patients in the city.

But Hopkins said he was purely motivated by the company's interest in the buildings on North Avenue.

"It wasn't on my radar before this," he said.

Since the state made sales legal, dispensaries like Dispensary 33 in Andersonville and Modern Cannabis in Logan Square have opened to the public.



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Full Article: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Eyeing Site At North And Throop
Author: Mina Bloom
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