I invite you to attend a community meeting to review a proposal for a medical cannabis dispensary at 1930 W. Chase (at Rogers). The meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 28th, 7:00 p.m., at the Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers.
Bob Kingsley, owner of of 420 Capital Management, will present his proposal for Greengate Compassion Center, a clinic that would provide medical cannabis (marijuana) to persons who have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition.
The property is zoned B-1. In order to operate as a dispensary, Mr. Kingsley must receive a zoning change to B-3 from the Chicago City Council and a special use permit from the City of Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals.
A rendering of the proposed clinic’s facade is above and an aerial view is below.
The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which was enacted in 2013, allows persons who are diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition to obtain access to cannabis (marijuana) for medical use. The qualifying patient must obtain a written certification from a physician specifying their debilitating condition and register with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Debilitating conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and rheumatoid arthritis.
For a complete list of debilitating conditions that could qualify a patient to receive medical cannabis, click here.
Only licensed dispensaries, registered and authorized by the State of Illinois, may sell medical cannabis. The law allows for up to 60 cannabis dispensaries dispersed throughout the State of Illinois. To date, 45 dispensaries are licensed and operating in the state, including five in Chicago and one in Evanston. For a list of current licensed and operating dispensaries, click here.
Early last year, the State gave Mr. Kingsley’s 420 Capital Management the authority to operate in Rogers Park Township, an area bound by the Lake on the east, Kedzie on the west, Evanston on the north and Devon on the south. Since then, Mr. Kingsley has been looking for a site on which to operate.
State law prohibits a medical cannabis dispensary from locating within 1,000 feet of a school or licensed day care provider. In Chicago, city zoning code allows dispensaries only in certain downtown zoning districts and zoning districts classified B-3 or C. The dispensary must also obtain a special use permit from the Board of Appeals.
Earlier this year, Mr. Kingsley identified a potential site at 1930 W. Chase, located at the northeast corner of Chase and Rogers. For many years, the site was home to Rogers Pantry, a convenience store that primarily sold packaged liquor. Rogers Pantry went out of business several years ago and the building has been standing empty ever since (see photo on left).
Until recently, three licenses to operate home day care centers existed within 1,000 feet of the property. For various reasons, none of the license holders actually operated day care centers out of their homes, but because the licenses were on the State’s registry, Mr. Kingsley could not receive a license to operate a dispensary at the Rogers Pantry location until the licenses expired or were withdrawn.
The owner of the Rogers Pantry site expressed a willingness to sell the property to Mr. Kingsley, but refused to sell it contingent on Mr. Kingsley receiving the required license and zoning relief. Mr. Kingsley decided to purchase the property despite the absence of a contingency.
I invited Mr. Kingsley last February to present his plans to the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee, but told him I would not proceed any further with my zoning process, including holding a community meeting on his proposal, until the outstanding day care license issues were resolved. Though I advised him he was proceeding at his own risk, Mr. Kinglsey decided to apply for permits and begin construction of the facility out of concern that the State might withdraw his authority to operate a dispensary in Rogers Park Township if he did not open a facility within a reasonable time period.
The final day care license holder withdrew her license last week and I informed Mr. Kingsley I would proceed with my process.
Under state law, only fully registered patients would be allowed in the facility. They enter in one door and exit out of another door. All cannabis must be sold in a sealed packaged in the designated amounts. The patients must take the cannabis home to consume. Consumption of cannabis is strictly prohibited in and around the facility, including the parking lot. Each transaction is verified in real time with the State of Illinois and the product is inventoried daily.
City ordinance requires at least one armed guard on site. Mr. Kingsley states he plans to use off-duty sheriff’s deputies. Security cameras will cover every inch of the clinic’s interior, exterior and parking lot. The cameras will provide a live feed to Illinois State Police.
Mr. Kingsley will install a high-grade security vault for cash and medicine. An armored car will collect the cash on at least a daily basis. All deliveries will be made to a private, fenced-in “employee only” entrance.
I urge you to attend the community meeting to learn more about the proposal, ask questions and provide me with your comments. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please feel free to share your questions and comments by replying to this email.