Des Plaines council says no to downtown cannabis dispensary

  • The Des Plaines city council on Monday rejected a request for permission to open a cannabis dispensary in a vacant commercial building at 1504 Miner St.

      The Des Plaines city council on Monday rejected a request for permission to open a cannabis dispensary in a vacant commercial building at 1504 Miner St. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, November 2021

 
 
Updated 12/20/2021 9:36 PM

Reversing course, the Des Plaines city council on Monday snuffed out a plan to open a cannabis dispensary in the downtown area.

A Chicago-based company called Dispensary 33 wanted to open a shop at 1504 Miner St. The vacant building is within the Metropolitan Square plaza and last was home to a Leona's restaurant that closed in 2017.

 

Cannabis dispensaries are allowed in Des Plaines but require city council approval to operate downtown. None operate anywhere in Des Plaines.

A majority of city council members supported the plan during a discussion two weeks ago. But on Monday, several of those aldermen said that after speaking with constituents, they no longer think a dispensary is appropriate in the downtown area.

City hall, several restaurants and the Des Plaines Theatre are among the existing downtown attractions.

"The No. 1 concern is the location," 4th Ward Alderman Artur Zadrozny said.

The council voted 6-1 to deny the permit request and to help the company find a different location to operate in town. Alderman Colt Moylan of the 2nd Ward was the lone dissenter.

Alderman Shamoon Ebrahimi of the 8th Ward was absent due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Dispensary 33 co-owner Brian Zises took the decision in stride, politely telling city officials the company seeks to operate "where we're wanted."

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Zises said he was open to talking with the city's community and economic development department to find a different spot in town.

Before the council's vote, more than a dozen audience members spoke against the proposal. Some said they didn't want a dispensary anywhere in the city, while others objected only to the proposed location.

Several made lengthy religious arguments against cannabis use.

A woman who identified herself as a nurse opposed the proposed location but noted cannabis has legitimate medical uses.

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