LOGAN SQUARE — One of the more unique businesses to hit Logan Square was approved Thursday, after medical marijuana dispensary Modern Cannabis presented plans for its new location to the city.
Thursday’s vote essentially affirmed plans for the dispensary presented for Wicker Park in September 2014 by owners of Emporium Arcade Bar, Danny and Doug Marks, who have paired with a longtime Chicago pharmacist and a former Chicago Police Department detective to operate the dispensary now transferred and greenlit for Logan Square at 2847 W. Fullerton Ave.
The project was approved unanimously Thursday under the condition that a valet loading zone be established in front of the business.
Though the dispensary originally was planned for the 1300 block of North Milwaukee Avenue near Barry's Drugs and Emporium's Wicker Park location, owners said the Logan location is more ideal for the business.
Attorney Tom Murphy said the new site offers “enhanced security,” thanks to its single-floor layout and with the added access from two main avenues, Fullerton and Milwaukee. He also trumpeted the “robust transportation access,” with the CTA stops and bus lines.
“This location is superior for security,” architect Jonathan Splitt added at the May 28 Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.
The Marks brothers reiterated that the project is supported by Ald. Joe Moreno (1st). The dispensary also has avoided pushback from owners of the building where it will reside — a space formerly slated for Chicago baker Mindy Segal, directly next to Emporium Logan Square.
The new dispensary location is “more secure, more discreet and less family-oriented,” Danny Marks explained at a public meeting for the dispensary May 18.
Once opened — tentatively between November of this year and January 2015, according to Marks — half of the 6,500-square-foot space will house the dispensary, which will provide medical marijuana products and accessories including edibles, tinctures and vaporizers to customers certified by the state via another lengthy process for which applications are now open. Owners said hope to eventually expand to the building’s full size.
Unlike its former Wicker Park location, the Logan Square dispensary will include a sally-port, i.e. a gated and secured "Ocean's Eleven"-style entryway, for Modern Cannabis delivery trucks, according to Michael Chasen, the former deputy chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department who will be in charge of security at the facility.
"We are not opening a weed pot shop; it's a professional operation with licensed pharmacists on duty," Barry Golin, Modern Cannabis partner and owner of independent pharmacy Barry's Drugs, said in September 2014.
Permits for the first batch of marijuana dispensaries came in October 2014, when Modern Cannabis, formerly Modern Medicine Dispensary, was given the go-ahead to move forward. The Zoning Board of Appeals has been assigned the task of issuing special-use permits for the 13 possible dispensaries in the city limits.
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