Fight Over Former Illinois Rainforest Cafe Becoming Dispensary
Even after being awarded a marijuana dispensary license in Illinois, it can still be an uphill battle actually opening the location.
Do You Remember The Rainforest Cafe?
I remember going to Chicago for a long weekend with my family. My daughter was pretty little at the time. When we drove by the Rainforest Cafe in the River North area of the city, she immediately wanted to go there. I stopped and that's where we had lunch and she loved it. I'll admit, it was a fun place to eat. Unfortunately, that location closed during the pandemic.
New Marijuana Dispensary Opening In Chicago
Of course, recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois. The state is trying to catch up with itself for dispensaries. There haven't been enough to keep up with the demand. Finally, several are opening throughout the Land of Lincoln. One company, Biopharm, is trying to open up a new location in that former Rainforest Cafe location.
It seems like the perfect location in the 20,000-square-foot building at 605 North Clark Street. Too bad, they couldn't leave all the Rainforest Cafe decor in the place. That would be an awesome smoking lounge.
Neighbors Not Happy About New Dispensary Opening In Their Area
A rival business, Green Rose, and three other dispensaries have already been in that neighborhood for a while. They believe the new store violates Illinois law. They have filed a lawsuit to stop the opening of this location.
In its complaint, Green Rose claims Bio-Pharm’s plan would violate a state law aimed at preventing clusters of weed shops from opening too close together.
Echoing his take, a group of 12 state legislators recently sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the agency that oversees cannabis licensing, asking that two social equity operators not be allowed to open within 1,500-feet of each other.