Efforts to Expand Jefferson Park Cannabis Dispensary Stall Amid Equity Concerns – WTTW News

(Photo by Add Weed / Unsplash)

Plans to expand a medical marijuana dispensary in Jefferson Park are on hold after members of the City Council’s Black Caucus blocked them from advancing over concerns that none of its owners are Black or Latino.

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Columbia Care wants to expand its operation at 4758 N. Milwaukee Ave. into a neighboring storefront on Chicago’s Far Northwest Side. The dispensary has been open since August 2016, when it began selling medical marijuana. It began selling recreational marijuana in January 2020, after state lawmakers legalized the drug.

But the dispensary’s expansion is now mired in legislative limbo, with members of the City Council’s Black Caucus prepared to vote against the zoning change the project needs to move forward — even though the expansion has the support of Jefferson Park Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward).

The project won the approval of the City Council’s Zoning and Building Standards in February, but Chair Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward) has not yet called the measure for a final vote by the City Council.

Tunney’s move to defer a vote on the project for the third time at Wednesday’s City Council meeting brought an unusually pointed

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