Chicago firm desires to open hashish dispensary in Peoria

PEORIA — In a close vote, the Peoria Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that the city allow a new cannabis dispensary to open on West Glen Avenue.

The dispensary, which would be operated by the Chicago-based Exxotic Strains LLC, is located in the Crossroads Shopping Center at the intersection of West Glen Avenue and North University Street. The space that would house it, currently vacant, shares a building with Wingstop, Qdoba and Save-A-Lot Auto Insurance.

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Eliza Solowiej, a lawyer representing Exxotic Strains, told the commission that her clients have received a conditional license from the state of Illinois. The city will require that the dispensary’s owners add an additional accessible parking space and install bicycle parking as a condition of approval for the project.

Commissioners Richard Unes and Robin Grantham voted against the proposal, while commissioners Branden Marten and Ed Barry as well as commission chair Michael Wieshan voted in favor of it.

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The Planning and Zoning Commission makes nonbinding recommendations based on established city policy. Before a cannabis dispensary can open in Peoria, it must be granted a special-use permit by the City Council. The council is slated to vote on whether to allow the Glen Avenue dispensary on Jan. 10. It could be the third dispensary approved by the body since September.

An online survey conducted by the city found that a majority of respondents favored looser restrictions on cannabis businesses in the city. Two are open for business right now.

More:Peorians support on-site cannabis usage at dispensaries, survey says; City Council disagrees