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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Dispensary33 Wants To Open Weed Shop On West Loop’s Restaurant Row

The Andersonville-based dispensary is not alone in seeking to open in the West Loop.

Dispensary33 is seeking to open a second location at 1152 W. Randolph St. in the West Loop.
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WEST LOOP — Dispensary33 is the latest weed shop seeking to open in the West Loop, joining a growing number of cannabis companies looking to expand in the booming neighborhood.

Andersonville-based Dispensary33 has signed a letter of intent to open a second location at 1152 W. Randolph St., the company announced Wednesday. Planning to open at the corner of Racine Avenue and Randolph Street, the dispensary would be in the heart of West Loop’s restaurant row.

“As a locally-owned, Chicago store, we think the West Loop is a quintessentially Chicago neighborhood that will be a great cultural fit,” Paul Lee, co-owner and general manager of Dispensarry33, said in a statement.

Dispensary33 is not the only cannabis provider seeking to open in the area, however.

NuMed Chicago has proposed opening a location at 935 W. Randolph St., and Natural Care Company is looking to open at 810 W. Randolph St. NuMed’s plans did not sit well with some, including Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), because it would open near an addiction recovery center.

Dispensary33 met with Burnett and community groups before selecting a West Loop location, it said. The site at 1152 W. Randolph St. was chosen after taking community feedback into account, the company said.

Before it can open in the space, Dispensary33 will need to secure a zoning change and a special use permit. The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, meanwhile, is slated to rule Friday on the two other dispensary proposals in the West Loop.

Dispensary33, 5001 N. Clark St., was the first medical cannabis dispensary to open in Chicago in 2015. Illinois’ legal cannabis law allowed existing medical dispensaries to expand into recreational sales, making Dispensary33 one of a few weed shops opened in Chicago in time for legal sales.

The dispensary has partnered with the Andersonville business community for neighborhood events, including its 4/20 event called Waldos Forever Festival. Dispensary33 also partnered with neighboring Andersonville businesses to throw a community event for the first day of legal pot sales, and it has invited local Girl Scout troops to sell cookies outside its doors.

State law allowed medical dispensaries to convert to dual-use shops and gave them permission to open a second, standalone recreational dispensary.

For its second location, Dispensary33 is seeking to take 5,000-square-feet of space of space at 1152 W. Randolph St. The new dispensary would be twice the size of the Andersonville location, where the popularity of legal sales has put space in the store at a premium, said Abigail Watkins, Dispensary33’s director of marketing.

The building is a recently renovated commercial property originally built in 1917, according to a listing for the building.

The new store would come with an indoor, four-car garage for secure, off-street deliveries of cannabis products, according to Dispensary33.

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
Dispensary33 at 5001 N. Clark St. in Andersonville.

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