Elgin may finally get its first recreational cannabis dispensary

After being given the green light by the city council last year, Elgin’s first recreational cannabis dispensary finally may have found a home.

The Elgin Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval this week for High Haven LLC to set up shop in a vacant space at 15 Clock Tower Plaza.

High Haven, a female-led, minority-owned social equity cannabis company was forced to pivot last year after a city-approved plan in April to open in a storefront at 353-355 S. Randall Road fell through when they couldn’t reach a lease agreement.

“We’re excited to be able to find another location to propose to city council,” said Mahjabeen Sulemanjee Bortocek, High Haven founder and CEO. “It’s our intention to make sure we can quickly get this dispensary up and operational.”

  High Haven LLC won approval from Elgin’s Planning and Zoning Commission to open the city’s first cannabis dispensary in the Clock Tower Plaza shopping center. Rick West/

Elgin amended its zoning ordinance in 2019 to allow adult-use cannabis dispensaries in most commercial zones. High Haven’s proposal will go before the city council for final approval.

The 2,627-square-foot space will need substantial interior renovations including a reception area where IDs will be checked, a security vault and a rear delivery area.

The shopping center, located on the site of the former Elgin National Watch Co., just south of the Grand Victoria Casino, is anchored by Butera Market and includes Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Spanky’s Gyros, and Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, Family Dollar and Rent-a-Center retail stores, and several beauty salons.

The new location has plenty of parking, which was one of the points of contention with the other business owners at the Randall Road site. Those businesses, which included a trading card shop and a tutoring service, also took umbrage with a cannabis dispensary so close to businesses that cater to families.

No one spoke out against the new location during the public hearing on the petition and the commission approved the plan unanimously. Commission member Steven Migala recused himself from the presentation and the vote due to apparent conflict of interest.

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