Marijuana stores on Chicago's Magnificent Mile?


Aug. 16, 2019

CHICAGO  — Cannabis companies are eyeing sites on some of the priciest retail streets in Chicago, including the Magnificent Mile, as they get ready to sell recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Dispensaries have opened in marquee retail spots around the country — like Fifth Avenue in New York and a mile from the Las Vegas strip. Chicago’s turn may be next.

Real estate sources say industry players are scouting locations with heavy foot traffic and alongside well-known retailers, and they’re doing so well before the city develops rules and regulations for cannabis sales, including amending the current zoning requirements.

If dispensaries end up on the Mag Mile, marijuana sales would bring a new definition of “high street” — the term for the world’s top retail streets — at a time when North Michigan Avenue and similar shopping districts around the world are grappling with changes in shopping habits.

A bill signed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker this summer makes recreational marijuana use legal in Illinois starting Jan. 1, and sets the stage for existing medical dispensaries to expand their physical presence.

The 55 medical dispensaries currently operating in in Illinois can apply to sell recreational marijuana at their stores. They also can open a second dispensary.