LOGAN SQUARE — A medical marijuana facility originally planned for Wicker Park has been relocated to a building mere feet from Logan Square’s most popular strip.
Though planned, designed and approved for 1368 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, Modern Cannabis — run by a second-generation pharmacist and the owners of arcade bar Emporium — is undergoing a process to transfer its operation to 2847 W. Fullerton Ave., a space formerly slated for Mindy Segal’s defunct Logan Square bakery.
Half of the nearly 6,500-square-foot property at 2847 W. Fullerton Ave. will be used for Modern Cannabis initially, but owners of the dispensary hope to expand to the building’s full potential. [DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]
The new dispensary location is “more secure, more discreet and less family-oriented,” Emporium co-owner and Modern Cannabis partner Danny Marks, explained at a public meeting for the dispensary Sunday.
He was joined Sunday by his Modern Cannabis partners, including his brother and Emporium co-owner Doug Marks; Michael Chasen, a retired deputy detective for the Chicago Police Department; and Barry Golin, a longtime Wicker Park pharmacist. Though the transfer application was filed and posted on-location March 13, no residents showed up to the weekend meeting.
Marks took that as a good sign, noting that he expects little resistance to the dispensary, which had already been approved as Modern Medicine Dispensary through a lengthy process at its former Wicker Park location.
Once opened — tentatively around November of this year, according to Marks — the dispensary will provide medical marijuana products and accessories including edibles, tinctures and vaporizers to customers certified by the state via another lengthy process for which applications are now open.
Unlike its former Wicker Park location, the Logan Square dispensary will include a sally-port, i.e. a gated and secured “Ocean’s Eleven”-style entryway, for Modern Cannabis delivery trucks, according to Chasen, who will be in charge of security at the facility.
(From l.) Michael Chasen, Barry Golin, Danny Marks, Douglas Marks and Matthew Engel. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser]
In all, the proposed building is around 6,500 square feet: but Modern Cannabis plans to use about half of that at first, according to Marks. Quantity of goods will initially be based on demand, according to his brother Doug, and, if the venture proves successful, Modern Cannabis could eventually expand to fill the building.
The location change took his dispensary from “an A to an A++,” Marks said Sunday, adding that “the ultimate goal would be that we need more space.”
The dispensary once slated for construction beside Emporium Wicker Park is now being proposed for the space directly next to Emporium Logan Square and follows recent plans for further Emporium expansion outside of Chicago.
On Sept. 1, 2014, the state began to accept applications for patients seeking medical marijuana and for those aiming to operate cultivation centers and dispensaries as part of a Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. Modern Cannabis was the first dispensary to be granted a special use permit by the city in October, Marks said.
State rules call for two licenses to be awarded in each district, allowing for a total of 13 in Chicago, and Modern Cannabis has one of two licenses that will be awarded in District 48. If approved by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals later this month, the dispensary will be based in Logan Square but will serve customers from as far away as Lakeview.
The dispensary, and its Logan Square zoning application, is supported by Ald. Joe Moreno (1st). In September 2014, Moreno told DNAinfo Chicago that the Modern Cannabis dispensary proposal was, out of 30 proposals he received, the only one he’d support at the time.
He reiterated that support Monday.
“Their business model — having a pharmacist as a partner and their superior security plan — make them a great fit to distribute legal, medicinal marijuana to those who can profoundly benefit from it,” Moreno said Monday.
If approved, once again, the partners at Modern Cannabis said they hope to partner with medical research facilities to advance the study of medical marijuana for people of all ages — a process that has long been stymied due to federal resistance.
“Hopefully one of the better outcomes of this will be that we see some methodical study on this,” Marks said, noting a growing list of conditions accepted under Illinois’ medical marijuana guidelines.
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