WEST LOOP — A group has applied to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at a site that currently houses a West Loop graphics company.
If the group’s dispensary license is approved, Dr. Graphx, the current business on site at 955 W. Lake St., would move to another location, said dispensary partner Amanda Mages.
Mages, who also works for the large format printing shop, said the applicants had hoped to meet Wednesday with the Neighbors of the West Loop 27th Ward Committee, but the meeting was postponed late Tuesday until next month.
Bob Aiken, vice president of the Neighbors of the West Loop group, said the meeting will be open to the public but space will be limited.
The Lake Street medical marijuana dispensary would be called The Clinic West Loop, and besides Mages and other partners, Green Thumb Industries, LLC, would be involved in the project. The LLC is backed by Chicago investors Ben Kovler and Ari Levy, according to state records.
The building is adjacent to the Morgan CTA station at Morgan and Lake streets, and the proximity to the “L” in “an up and coming area” could offer a steady stream of clientele, Mages said.
“This is a great location. What we’ve learned over the last month or so is that it’s been really hard for people to find [a location] that fit [around] all of the restrictions,” Mages said. The Lake Street location meets all of the city and state rules, she said.
Before the end of the year, the state is expected to notify dispensary applicants whose licenses have been approved. More than 200 applications have been filed.
Marijuana businesses had until Sept. 22 to apply for a limited number of permits. The state plans on granting 60 dispensary licenses, 13 of which will be located in Chicago.
Mages said she is “very optimistic” the group’s application will be approved by the state.
In addition to meeting state approval, The Clinic West Loop would need a special-use permit from the city to operate. According to Chicago’s rules, dispensaries must be 1,000 feet from schools and daycare centers and can’t be located in homes.
The Lake Street applicants are one group out of more than a dozen potential dispensary owners that have met with Ald. Walter Burnett, he said.
“I don’t know who has put in applications, but I do know a whole bunch of people met with me,” Burnett said Tuesday. “It’s like they’re coming out of the woodwork.”
Burnett said he would like any dispensary that sets up shop in the West Loop to have minority or women partners and be located in an area close to transportation.
The potential Lake Street dispensary would rent space in the the building from Mike Mages, Dr. Graphx owner. Amanda Mages, 29, is married to Mike Mages’ nephew.
Dr. Graphx, a 24-year-old business, has been located at the Lake Street site for 10 years, Amanda Mages said.
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