Three medical marijuana dispensary hopefuls may clear another hurdle at Monday’s Forest Park Village Council meeting in their quest for a state license to operate in Forest Park. The village council will vote on whether to grant conditional use zoning permits to all three sites: St. Fiacre’s, Mon Cherie and Curative Health, LLC.
In a closely guarded state selection process, only one license will be issued to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a region that includes Forest Park and covers Proviso, Leyden and Norwood townships. In September, the state of Illinios reported 211 dispensary hopefuls submitted applications to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for 60 potential sites throughout the state.
To sweeten the pot, the village is also asking for a “host community” agreement from all three local applicants. The agreement asks for $10,000 cash from each company at startup, and a $25,000 yearly “community contribution” to local charities in addition to the one percent sales tax generated by sales of medical cannabis.
The village is also asking each company to agree to hire five full-time staff from Forest Park and four part-timers. The agreement also gives first priority to local businesses to bid on contracts for services such as heating and air-conditioning, contractors, flooring, office furniture, waste removal and phone systems.
The three potential sites are St. Fiacre’s, to be located at the site of Kevil’s restaurant, 7228 Circle Ave.; Mon Cherie, to be located at 7501-11 Roosevelt Road; and Curative Health, LLC, slated for 7621 Roosevelt Rd.
The Zoning Board of Appeals voted Oct. 20 to recommend approval for all three sites after long, well-attended meetings that featured hours of public comment for and against the sites. The votes were not unanimous, with some board members voting no on all three. One-hundred-seventy-six citizen signatures were submitted to the ZBA opposing the Circle Avenue site and more than 100 neighbors submitted signatures opposing the Roosevelt Road sites.
It’s likely those neighbors will be back again tonight to let the village council hear their opinions.
This article has been updated to clairfy the number of applications for medical cannabis dispensaries submitted to the state.