Smoked out: 6 approved recreational pot dispensaries won’t open on Jan. 1

Construction and permitting are among the issues delaying dispensaries, but 28 others are still expected to open on time

Chicago /
Dec.December 31, 2019 11:30 AM
Six of the approved recreational pot dispensaries won’t open on Jan. 1 (Credit: iStock)

Six of the approved recreational pot dispensaries won’t open on Jan. 1 (Credit: iStock)

On New Year’s Day, 28 recreational marijuana dispensaries plan to open across Illinois, but another six that received approval will not open due to construction, permitting or other issues.

Dispensary operators only had about six months to prepare after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the recreational cannabis law last summer, prompting concerns that they may not be ready for the Jan. 1 sales kickoff.

Of the state’s 55 medical marijuana dispensaries — all of which were able to apply to also sell recreational pot — 37 have been approved to do so. Others chose not to apply, and three that won state approval won’t be able to participate because their municipalities, like Naperville and Arlington Heights, opted out of recreational sales.

Zoning issues and construction have slowed the process. Dispensaries like Clinic Effingham are waiting on a special-use permit hearing and others like Sunnyside Buffalo Grove are rebranding as they convert from being a medical-only shop, the Tribune reported.

Many of the existing medical marijuana dispensaries are too small to accomodate the volume of customers and sales expected to be generated by recreational sales. Some of them including Maribis of Springfield and Maribis of Chicago are making changes to handle more traffic, like adding cash registers or expanding the shop space.

Others are holding off until more product is available, given the expected shortages in the early days of recreational sales.

In Chicago, only $3.5 million in tax revenues is expected to be generated from recreational marijuana in 2020 due to state legislation preventing municipalities from collecting taxes until next September.

A handful of dispensary operators were interested in setting up shop on North Michigan Avenue and other high-profile Chicago retail strips, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s cannabis zoning ordinance limits recreational sales to seven zones, each with an initial cap of seven dispensaries. The zones exclude part of the Central Business District, including the Loop and the Magnificent Mile. At least three operators are looking to open dispensaries in River North, not far from the Mag Mile.

[Tribune] ⁠— Brianna Kelly


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi with Aon Center, Willis Tower and Aqua Tower (Getty, Facebook via Kaegi)
Chicago’s trophy landlords infuriated as Kaegi boosts property assessments
Chicago’s trophy landlords infuriated as Kaegi boosts property assessments
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...