Schaumburg's first recreational pot shop could be near Woodfield
Schaumburg's zoning board Wednesday will hear the first proposal for a recreational marijuana dispensary in the village, and perhaps not surprisingly it would lie in the shadow of the highly visited Woodfield Mall.
FloraMedex LLC, which operates under the name Sunnyside, wants to open a dispensary on the east side of Woodfield Gatherings at 1739 E. Golf Road, near the northwest corner of the shopping center's parking lot.
The dispensary, if recommended by the zoning board this week and approved by the village board next month, would occupy 8,640 square feet of the 11,606-square-foot building that also houses a Mod Pizza.
The choice of a highly visible location was not a surprise and hasn't generated any complaints among its potential neighbors, Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said.
"We did know that people wanted to be in the regional center," she said.
Last year, in setting regulations for recreational pot dispensaries, village officials limited their number to five and confined them to retail properties.
Schaumburg already has received two more proposals, currently at less advanced stages, in the same commercial district.
However, one seeking use of the former Bar Louie restaurant at the southeast corner of Golf and Meacham roads is within the state-prohibited 1,500 feet of the Sunnyside proposal. Both dispensaries could not coexist so close together, but the proposal for the Bar Louie site has not been withdrawn and the village staff are reviewing it as requested, Fitzgerald said.
The third proposal is for the former Luna Carpet location at 820 E. Golf Road, near the intersection of Plum Grove Road.
According to the Sunnyside proposal, the dispensary would have up to 46 full- and part-time employees by the end of its first year, operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and have security arrangements including the presence of two armed guards around the clock.
Fitzgerald said the company has experience operating medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois.
Attorney Nicholas Standiford, who represents Sunnyside, said its existing medical marijuana dispensary in Elmwood Park recently received permission to expand to recreational use. The company also will operate in Buffalo Grove and Champaign.
The Schaumburg operation would be a great boost to the local economy, he said.
"It's really going to be a nice addition to the community," Standiford said.
Village staff members also are moving forward with a change to the zoning code that would allow marijuana quality-control testing labs to operate in Schaumburg. The proposed change is scheduled to go before the zoning board April 29 and the village board on May 12.
Unitech Laboratories hopes to locate a testing facility in Schaumburg but hasn't yet submitted a proposal for a specific site, Fitzgerald said.