Instead of being tucked away on Industrial Drive, Forest Park’s medical marijuana dispensary — if one is allowed within the village — may end up on high-traffic Roosevelt Road at the old Deal$ building, 7709 W. Roosevelt Rd.

That’s the plan for one of two companies vying to open a medical pot dispensary in Forest Park — if the state says they can. 

Tanya Griffin, describing herself as a serial entrepreneur who invests in companies focusing on women’s health, returned to the village council to tell commissioners that her company had partners in Denver (where medical pot is legal) who could put together a plan for a medical dispensary quickly. She did not identify the company, but her business card said she was a publicist for Water and Trees Growth Management. Griffin requested a “green light” letter from the village of Forest Park for the company’s state application process.

She said her company had experience with growing proprietary medical strains, cultivation, extraction and kitchens. The company also has an armored car business that “deals with distribution.” Griffin said proximity to the Hines V.A. Hospital would allow veterans to use the medical pot.

Jim Hall of Chicago, an Afghanistan campaign veteran, told the council how he wanted to use medical marijuana to move away from Vicodin to treat his spinal injury.

The other interested applicant was Linda Cibula, owner of Stencib, who said she had been working on an application with a Northwestern doctor and her son, a U.S. Marine. 

“I hope when we do zoning, we will not go into the industrial center,” Cibula said.

“If I’m a terminal patient and I’m coming in for my medicine, I really don’t want to look out and see a cemetery. I’m thinking this is not a good thing.”

Medical pot dispensaries may not be built in residential areas and must be at least 1,000 feet from schools and daycare centers, according to state rules. Deciding where a dispensary could be located will ultimately fall to the zoning board of appeals and then the village council. One dispensary will be allowed to serve Proviso, Leyden and Norwood Park townships at first.

“We may be lucky enough that we’ll be where one will be located,” Calderone said. 

Council members were asked if they wanted to zone the dispensaries in business or industrial areas, or both. 

Commissioner Chris Harris asked if there would be any other town hall or public meetings to discuss the dispensary. 

“When I heard Deal$, I realized I live right near there,” said Harris, who wondered if proximity to the dispensary might decrease property values. 

The zoning board of appeals hearing is where the public would get a chance to make their voices heard about the proposed business, the mayor told commissioners. 

Griffin and Cibula both said the opening day for applications to the state was coming up soon, and they wanted to make sure Forest Park was in the running.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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