Proposed pot shop’s proximity to Fulton Market rehab center poses problems

NuMed hopes to open a dispensary next to The Haymarket Center, but some in the neighborhood think it’s a bad idea

TRD CHICAGO /
Feb.February 19, 2020 12:00 PM
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward)

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward)

The alderman who calls the shots in Fulton Market wants to snuff out a marijuana company’s plan to open a dispensary near the city’s largest drug treatment facility.

Wheaton-based NuMed was hoping to open a recreational pot shop at 935 West Randolph Street, around the corner from Haymarket Center at 124 N. Sangamon Street, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. NuMed’s plan comes after the state’s recreational cannabis law took effect Jan. 1.

But Alderman Walter Burnett said NuMed retail location would be too close to the drug treatment center, and that the proximity “makes a difference,” according to the Sun-Times.

Haymarket’s president and CEO, Dr. Dan Lustig, said the sale of legal marijuana near the treatment center will be a “trigger” for patients. According to its website, Haymarket’s mission is to “aid people with substance use disorders in their recovery by providing comprehensive behavioral health solutions.”

But NuMed isn’t the only cannabis company that wants to take a lease for a nearby store location. Two other companies, Nature’s Care and Windy City Cannabis, are looking to open dispensaries about a block away from Haymarket. State law requires at least 1,500 feet between licensed stores.

If Lustig could have his way, anywhere within three blocks of Haymarket would be off limits to dispensaries, he told the Sun-Times. Burnett said he’s most concerned about NuMed’s proposed location.

An economic development nonprofit called the Fulton Market Association is collecting signatures for a petition against NuMed, and plans to send it to the city Friday morning.

Representatives for NuMed, Nature’s Care and Windy City Cannabis didn’t respond to the Sun-Times’ requests for comment.

The recreational marijuana law is not without limitations. As of late December, 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. [Sun-Times]Brianna Kelly


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