Chicago rejected plans for a recreational marijuana shop near the Gold Coast early Saturday morning, highlighting the tricky process companies must navigate when opening a dispensary in the city.
The denial of the proposed dispensary at 12-14 W. Maple St. came after almost 12 hours of discussion during a virtual Zoning Board of Appeals meeting. It was the first time since recreational marijuana became legal that the city rejected a proposed site. Six proposed dispensary sites, including the one on Maple Street, have gone before the board.
The board did not specify why it denied PharmaCann’s application. In general, it assesses applications for compliance with city codes. But with the Maple Street location, PharmaCann also faced a cadre of opponents who live or own businesses nearby — the local aldermen among them.
Eight months into legal recreational marijuana sales, the industry remains far from established in Illinois. As cannabis companies look to set up shop in the city, they face sentiment toward marijuana sales that varies by neighborhood. Some proposed dispensaries have encountered community opposition even though weed shops just a few blocks away have not.