Des Plaines council says no to downtown hashish dispensary

Conversely, Des Plaines City Council on Monday thwarted a plan to open a cannabis dispensary downtown.

A Chicago-based company called Dispensary 33 was planning to open a store on 1504 Miner Street. The vacant building is on Metropolitan Square Plaza and most recently housed a Leona’s restaurant, which closed in 2017.

Cannabis dispensaries are allowed in Des Plaines but require city council approval to operate in the downtown area. Nobody works anywhere in Des Plaines.

In a discussion two weeks ago, a majority of the city council supported the plan. But on Monday several of these lay judges said that after talking to voters, they no longer consider a pharmacy in the city center to be appropriate.

Existing downtown attractions include the City Hall, several restaurants and the Des Plaines Theater.

“The main concern is the location,” said Artur Zadrozny, City Councilor of the 4th Municipality.

The council voted 6-1 to reject the permit application and help the company find another location in the city. Alderman Colt Moylan of the 2nd Ward was the only dissident.

City Councilor Shamoon Ebrahimi of the 8th parish was absent due to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Brian Zises, co-owner of Dispensary 33, took the decision calmly and politely informed city officials that the company wanted “where to be found”.

Zises said he was open to speaking with the city’s community and economic development department to find another location in the city.

Before the vote in the Council, more than a dozen people spoke out against the proposal. Some said they didn’t want a pharmacy anywhere in town while others just turned down the suggested location.

Several made long religious arguments against cannabis use.

A woman posing as a nurse declined the proposed location but found that cannabis has legitimate medical uses.