LOGAN SQUARE — Customers around the state of Illinois were able to legally buy medical marijuana for the first time Monday, but not a single shop in Chicago was opened for business.
The owners of Modern Cannabis in Logan Square had hoped to be open for the first day of business in Illinois.
After a few setbacks with city permits, it appears Modern Cannabis, 2847 W. Fullerton Ave., won't be open until around the first week of 2016.
"It's unfortunate because there's so many people in the city who really do need this and have been waiting so long for it," said Danny Marks, a co-owner of the business. "It's too bad that it's not already here today."
Marks, who also owns the popular barcade Emporium, said the state has been helpful with the bureaucratic process of getting the business open.
As his experience has been opening both Emporiums and building an expansion onto the Wicker Park location, city bureaucracy has held up businesses looking to open marijuana dispensaries, he said.
"I don't think it's necessarily unique to this [medical marijuana] industry," Marks said.
More than 3,300 patients have been issued Illinois ID cards allowing them to buy medical marijuana.
On the first day of business Monday, eight dispensaries around the state were licensed to open.
The nearest shops to the city limits are in Evanston, Schaumburg, North Aurora, Addison and Mundelein.
The Director of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, Joseph Wright, anticipates 12 to 15 medical marijuana dispensaries will be registered by the end of the November. Click here for the full list.
Wright estimates 20 to 25 dispensaries will be registered by the state by end of the year.
Modern Cannabis had hoped to be the first dispensary in the city to open, but it appears they will likely be second.
The owners had to make a few minor revisions to the building plans and the process to get those OK'd took longer than expected.
Marks said Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st) has been forthcoming with him and his partners and that Moreno has been helpful with the process.
Modern Cannabis is still finishing the renovation of the building, which is heavily focused on security.
The business will include bulletproof doors, a steel garage bay for armored trucks to park inside and about 30 security cameras.
"This is not about the next two months," Marks said. "It's about the next 20 years."
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