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Local News

Cannabis dispensary plans to open near Louis Joliet Mall

A medical cannabis dispensary wants to move into a vacated mattress store near the Louis Joliet Mall.

3C Compassionate Care Center, now located in a Joliet industrial park, plans to move into a former Mattress Firm store at 2903 Colorado Ave.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted, 4-0, Thursday for the zoning variation and special use permit needed for the move. The City Council also will have to approve the move and is expected to vote in November.

3C Compassionate Care Center is owned by Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based company with manufacturing operations and 59 cannabis retail locations in several states. The local dispensary has operated out of the Rock Run Business Park since 2015.

Brendan Blume with GTI told the zoning board that there have been no problems at the Rock Run site.

“Safety has never been a concern,” Blume said. “We just want to keep operating and provide better access to our customers.”

No one objected to the relocation during a public hearing on the proposal at the zoning board meeting.

“The owners would like to relocate their facility to the subject site in order to be in a more accessible commercial area rather than an industrial park,” according to the staff memo on the proposal.

According to the memo, staff believes the dispensary “should not cause any detrimental effects to the surrounding commercial area if operated in strict compliance” with laws regulating medical marijuana.

Those regulations cover locations of cannabis dispensaries, and there are no restrictions against sites in retail areas.

The dispensary would be located near another new business moving into the mall area, the Binny’s Beverage Depot scheduled to open later this month across Colorado Avenue from the former mattress store.

Dispensaries are banned from locations within 1,000 feet of schools, day cares, group homes, other dispensaries and residential areas. The rules also prohibit signs depicting cannabis products and paraphernalia, and set security requirements for the dispensaries.

Regulations also require businesses be open to the public no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 10 p.m.

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