AVONDALE — A recreational cannabis dispensary trying to open in Lincoln Square is proposing another location near the border of Avondale And Irving Park.
Justice Cannabis Company is working with Green Star Equity LLC to get a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to open a cannabis dispensary at 3545 N. Kedzie Ave.
The corner property with a parking lot was formerly a mattress store, but it has been vacant for the past four years.
“We’re trying to strategically place our dispensaries within cities so that we’re not competing with ourselves and not competing with other dispensaries that might already exist,” said Mitch Zaveduk, Justice’s vice president of real estate.
The zoning board may review the dispensary’s Avondale application as soon as this fall, Zaveduk said.
Civil rights attorney Jonathan Loevy helped launch Justice in 2014. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Botavi Wellness to pitch a dispensary at a former yoga studio at 2301 W. Lawrence Ave. in Lincoln Square.
The Lincoln Square location got City Council approval for the necessary zoning change in May. As with other dispensaries, the process to open for business was held up for months while courts considered several lawsuits related to the state’s lottery system for cannabis licensing. A Cook County judge lifted an injunction in May to clear the way for the state to grant 185 licenses, the Tribune reported.
Botavi and Green Star won Illinois cannabis dispensary licenses and decided to partner with Justice because of the company’s expertise running dispensaries across multiple states, Zaveduk said.
The business model for the Lincoln Square and Avondale locations will be identical, he said.
Avondale “is a really a wonderful location in that it does have that three-way intersection drawing a lot of traffic, and it’s across from the Jewel,” Zaveduk said.
Green Start and Justice hosted a community meeting Aug. 8 about the Avondale proposal. The majority of attendees said they supported the dispensary, but two neighbors raised concerns about parking, security and increased traffic during Cubs games.
“A big part of what we’re doing at these community meetings is educating the public. I would say there’s a lack of information because people just don’t know what a dispensary is,” Zaveduk said.
Zaveduk expects to host another community meeting for the Lincoln Square location in the next few weeks, he said.
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