Pot shop proposed for downtown Des Plaines would be first in the city

Entrepreneurs want to open Des Plaines' first recreational cannabis dispensary in the heart of the city's downtown district.

A vacant, one-story space at 1504 Miner St. is being eyed for the operation. Set in the Metropolitan Square plaza, it formerly was home to a Leona's restaurant and has been empty since 2017.

The proposed business, to be called Dispensary 33, would strictly be a shop for recreational users, not those with medical prescriptions.

Dispensary 33 shops operate in Chicago's West Loop and Andersonville neighborhoods, and another is planned for Wicker Park, documents indicate.

The Des Plaines city council voted in December 2019 to allow cannabis dispensaries in town as soon as they became legal statewide the following month.

Dispensaries initially weren't permitted in the downtown district, but that changed with another council vote in August. They're now OK downtown with city council approval.

City officials who favor allowing pot shops said Des Plaines should get some of the sales tax revenue going to Rosemont, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights and other towns with dispensaries. Des Plaines is set to collect 4% tax on recreational cannabis sales in the city.

The business plan for the proposed store predicts average sales of $6 million annually for dispensaries in Illinois, according to city documents.

Des Plaines' share could be between $200,000 and $250,000 annually, documents indicate.

The city council will meet Monday, Dec. 6, to review the proposal. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at city hall, 1420 Miner St.

The meeting will be livestreamed at and broadcast on local cable Channel 17.

Any dispensaries in Des Plaines will face limits on operating hours, signage and other operational elements. For example, they can't operate within 500 feet of a school, day care center or place of worship, said John Carlisle, the city's community and economic development director.

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  Des Plaines aldermen are set to review a proposal next week to open the city's first recreational pot shop in the in the former location of Leona's restaurant, near the downtown Metropolitan Square plaza. Mark Welsh/
  Des Plaines' first recreational marijuana dispensary would open in the onetime home of Leona's restaurant near the downtown Metropolitan Square plaza, under a proposal before the city council next week. Mark Welsh/
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