Columbia Care marijuana dispensary in Jefferson Park plans expansion; Ald. Gardiner to hold community meeting
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman James Gardiner (45th) will hold a virtual community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, to discuss the proposed expansion of the Columbia Care medical and recreational marijuana dispensary at 4758 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Jefferson Park.
The dispensary, which opened for medical sales in 2016, is seeking to also use a neighboring storefront at 4760 N. Milwaukee Ave., but the property must be rezoned from B3-2 to C2-2 and then a special use permit to establish a medical and adult use dispensary must be obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A special use for medical marijuana sales only was issued about 5 years ago for the building g at 4758 N. Milwaukee Ave., and at the time city officials said that additional zoning relief would be required if recreational sales were to become legal in Illinois and Columbia were to seek a recreational license.
Several years later when recreational sales became legal, the state law allowed existing medical dispensaries to obtain a recreational license without having to seek a zoning change or a new special use. However, those special accommodations do not apply for an expansion or relocation.
Columbia Care started selling recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, 2020, and the state has declared marijuana sales an essential service, allowing the dispensaries to operate during recent lockdowns. Due to marijuana shortages a year ago, dispensaries were required to give priority to their medical customers.
There are estimates that legal marijuana sales in Illinois totaled about $1 billion in 2020.
The Zoom meeting ID is 985 3213 7979, and the passcode is 158784.