Illinois applicants that submitted applications are now busy finding real estate in a city that will allow cannabis businesses. Chicago will be the top contender for the possible license holders. Chicago held a lottery for the available licenses on November 15, 2020. Now, four cannabis companies are seeking land-use approval from the city for possible sites.
The land-use applicants include NuMed Chicago, Nature’s Care Company, MOCA Modern Cannabis and MedMar Lakeview. State regulators approved NuMed, MedMar and MOCA’s application for adult-use dispensaries. In addition, the state provided an adult-use dispensary license to an additional seven (7) medical marijuana businesses that operated in the city.
For the next steps, the city of Chicago will hold public meetings over the next couple of weeks to consider the applications. Nature’s Care and MedMar also scheduled the mandatory community meeting that is needed to get an adult-use dispensary up and running.
The Chicago real estate market will continue to heat up as cannabis dispensaries claim retail sites. State regulations prevent retail dispensaries from being located within 1,500 feet of one another. The city of Chicago has also imposed a 500-foot buffer zone around elementary and secondary schools. The community meetings provide local businesses and residents with the ability to hear how the businesses will be operated and the benefits they will provide to the community.
The state will hand out a total of seventy-five (75) recreational dispensary licenses by May 1, 2020. The licenses will be allocated to various districts in the state with a majority of the licenses, forty-seven (47), clustered around Cook County. The strong start should kick off a competitive real estate market for the limited retail sites in these cities and counties.