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New Weed Shop Opening On … Where Else? Chicago’s Weed Street

Windy City Cannabis will open its first dispensary in the city on the conveniently named street on Wednesday.

Justin Laurence/ Block Club Chicago
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RANCH TRIANGLE — Chicagoans can soon buy their weed on Weed Street.

Windy City Cannabis will open its first dispensary in the city on the conveniently named street, 923 W. Weed St., on Wednesday in the Ranch Triangle neighborhood.

The cannabis company, which has four dispensaries in Chicagoland outside city limits, was awarded a dispensary license by the state on June 15 and announced the opening on Twitter on June 24. Artists from Company Inq were adding final artistic flourishes on the building last week.

The dispensary will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m-5 p.m. on Sundays. At the company’s suburban dispensaries, customers must order online before picking up their purchase, although sales procedures haven’t been announced for the Weed Street location.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The site used to be home to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which closed in 2016.

Deemed an essential businesses under JB Pritzker’s stay at home order, weed dispensaries have remained open during the pandemic, and statewide sales exceeded $44 million in May, more than $5 million more than the previous high in January when recreational sales began.

The Weed Street dispensary is the second recreational-only dispensary to open in the city, joining Cresco Labs’ Sunnyside dispensary, 436 N. Clark St., which opened in River North in May. MOCA Modern Cannabis, 216 W. Ohio St., has also been awarded a state license, but has not set an opening date.

State law prevents dispensaries from locating within 1,500 feet of an existing dispensary.

But state officials surprised the industry by awarding a license to both MOCA and Cresco Labs despite being located within 1,500 feet of each other. The state ruled that because the licenses were awarded at the same time, there was no existing dispensary to block another from opening.

RELATED: Cresco Labs, MOCA Score Coveted Licenses To Open Weed Shops In River North

MedMen was awarded a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals to operate a dispensary around the corner at 1001 W. North Ave., but has not been awarded a state dispensary license for the location, seemingly blocking the Los Angeles-based cannabis behemoth from opening at the location.

The state did not immediately answer whether MedMen could receive a state license for 1001 W. North Ave.

The state law that legalized recreational weed permitted existing medical dispensaries to convert to dual-use shops and allowed each medical dispensary to open a second, recreational only pot-shop. The new store on Weed Street is tied to the company’s dispensary in Justice, Ill.

While new licenses for secondary sites are being awarded to the state’s existing dispensaries, the state delayed the awarding of 75 new dispensary licenses aimed at boosting minority ownership in the industry. Those licenses, originally set to be awarded on May 1, will now be doled out in a two step process, possibly beginning in late July.

RELATED: Illinois Delays Cannabis Dispensary Licenses Intended For Minority Entrepreneurs

Along with the weed dispensary in Justice, the company operates dispensaries in Posen, Homewood and Worth, allowing it to have four selections in Chicago’s cannabis zoning lottery held in November.

In addition to the location on Weed Street in the city’s North weed district, the company also won a spot in the West district and two slots in the Southeast district. It has inquired about at least four locations in the West district but has not moved forward with a formal application. No inquiries in the Southeast district are listed on the city’s website tracking potential new dispensaries.

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