[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he legalization of marijuana has become a hot button issue in the U.S. lately. With California and Colorado recently legalizing the selling of the substance, residents of Chicago are wondering if this will happen in the city. That discussion has becoming heated as there is a proposal to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Jefferson Park.
A community meeting was held at the Congressional Church of Jefferson Park on Nov. 3 about a medical marijuana dispensary that would be set up at 4758 N. Milwaukee Ave. The dispensary would be operated by Curative Health, which is owned by Columbia Care. Curative also operates several other dispensaries located in Arizona, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Vita, chief executive officer of Curative Health, was on hand at the meeting along with Ward 45 Ald. John Arena. Several residents attended the meeting as they had concerns about this particular store coming into town. While some residents were worried about the level of security the facility will have and if property values would go down, much of the concerns were geared toward the threat of unsavory people committing crimes in the neighborhood.
Vita assured the residents that there would be no threat coming to the neighborhood, as those who would purchase from the dispensary would need a state sanctioned license in order to do so. Interestingly, Curative Health purchased the vacant property without a special-use permit from the city or a license from the state to open a dispensary.
The feeling in the room was contentious on Nov. 3 as many residents just did not believe the dispensary was a good fit. Arena reassured the crowd that no decision has been made yet about Curative Health and he does not want to move forward with the decision until he gets a favorable vote from the community.