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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Rap Legend Twista’s Cannabis Company Wants To Open Growing Facility In Austin’s Former Moo & Oink Building

Several neighbors said they want a grocery store instead. Ald. Jason Ervin said the team behind the project needs to do more to gain community support.

Pre-rolled joints for sale and cannabis at THC by Chitiva (Dispensary & Infused Ice Cream), 1948 W. North Ave., in Wicker Park on Sept. 6, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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AUSTIN — A company from hip-hop artist Twista is behind a cannabis facility planned in Austin — though support from neighbors will be key for it to get approval.

Cadence, a minority-owned company that counts Twista among its owners, wants to open a cannabis craft growing facility at the former Moo & Oink grocery store at 4848 W. Madison St., which has been vacant since 2011, Austin Weekly News reported. The company has two licenses for craft growing.

Craft growing sites cultivate cannabis and sell it to dispensaries.

Event promoter Juan Teague, who is helping Cadence work with the community, told neighbors at a March 17 meeting that the development team wants to create jobs and improve safety near Madison Street and Cicero Avenue, according to Austin Weekly News. The meeting was organized by Ald. Jason Ervin (28th).

Cadence co-owner Richard Park told attendees he hopes to buy the property from owners Purely Meat, and he thinks the site could be a great opportunity to employ people from the neighborhood and give people job training, according to Austin Weekly News.

Renovations to the space could take up to 14 months, Park said.

The majority of attendees who spoke during the meeting said a grocery store would be more beneficial to the community or called for the site to be turned into something that will provide resources for neighbors, according to Austin Weekly News.

Ervin told Block Club he is not inclined to support the proposal unless the company does more work to convince the neighborhood it is in their best interests.

“I think the licensees need to do a little bit more work with the community,” Ervin told Block Club. “I always advise people who are bringing ideas to the community like this to have conversations with residents that are immediately impacted.”

Twista, a West Side native, said in a 2019 interview with Vlad TV he has always wanted to open a cannabis facility in his hometown and sees it as a great business opportunity.

“The legalization is causing people to think from the [broader] business perspective,” Mitchell said in the interview. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing people in the urban community transform their lives and become business people and flourish.”

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