Plan to establish first marijuana dispensary in Lake Zurich submitted
A plan that would establish Lake Zurich's first marijuana dispensary at the old TGI Fridays restaurant on South Rand Road near Costco was submitted to the village Tuesday.
The plan calls for the building at 676 S. Rand Road to be converted into a location of the new Bloc Cannabis Dispensary chain.
Jon Loevy, a co-founder of Justice Cannabis Co., which will operate the dispensary, said he wants the Lake Zurich location to be a flagship for the Bloc chain. The Lake Zurich location would sell to both medical-use and recreational customers.
Loevy was one of a team that presented the plan at a courtesy review hearing Monday night before the Lake Zurich village board. The board did not vote on the plan but provided feedback and asked questions.
In September 2019, the village board imposed a one-year moratorium on creating rules for dispensaries. The board voted to consider dispensary rules in September 2020 and, in December, approved the current rules, which limit where dispensaries can be established. The plan from Justice Cannabis Co. is the first to come before the board for consideration.
While most trustees kept quiet on whether they intended to vote for the plan, Marc Spacone said he would vote no and Janice Gannon pointed out that she has been the only trustee who has been in favor of a dispensary coming to the village whenever the topic is discussed.
Spacone, a principal at Larson Middle School in Elgin, expressed his concern that the presence of the dispensary would lead to more kids using drugs.
"I hear you talk about your clean drugs people can trust, I hear you talk about business- and family-friendly, but where and what point of the community are you sharing your profits with to support drug-free kids?" Spacone said.
Loevy acknowledged that there is a danger both in the message being sent to children and that children could get marijuana. He said the company is serious about never selling marijuana to children and added that he intends to use part of his profits to go toward education.
Trustee Greg Weider asked Loevy what about Lake Zurich appealed to his company.
"I could say flippantly that the fact that you don't have a dispensary is very appealing," Loevy said. "It has an excellent reputation as a place that is friendly to business, friendly to families and a community people want to work in, live in and be in."
The plan will be before the village's Planning and Zoning Commission on Oct. 20. The commission is tasked with vetting plans, hearing from the community and offering recommendations to the village board, which ultimately has the final say.