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Lakeview pot dispensary on hold; Tunney opposes Halsted location

Lakeview residents opposing a medical marijuana dispensary on Halsted Street got a partial victory Friday after the would-be pot seller’s request for a city permit was put off until next year.

The deferral for a necessary special use permit granted by a city zoning board came the same day Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he wouldn’t support the proposed dispensary at 2843 N. Halsted.

“I have always maintained that it is important to take community concerns into consideration when making development decisions,” Tunney said. “In this case, the immediate neighbors have spoken loudly that they believe this highly residential area of Lakeview is not the right location for a medical marijuana dispensary.”

Dozens of neighbors have rallied and about 800 people have signed an online petition opposing the dispensary, which would be opened by a company called MedMar.

For it’s part, MedMar officials are still hoping to open in the Halsted Street storefront.

In a statement, the company said, “We are confident our proposed facility at 2843 N. Halsted meets all State and City requirements for dispensaries and that it fits in well with the current mixed-use nature of the street. We will continue to seek approval of this location and we are thankful for our many supporters in Lakeview which include residents, businesses, health organizations and patients.”

Tunney, though, hopes to find an alternative location in his ward in a spot that is less residential.

MedMar on Friday was one of four companies whose application for a special use permits from the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals was deferred until next year. An application for a dispensary in Streeterville was withdrawn.

The zoning board also approved permits for two dispensaries.

They are:

— Euflora Health Center, which seeks to open a dispensary at 4760 1/2 N. Milwaukee on the Northwest Side.

— Organic Leaf Medical Dispensaries, which seeks to open a dispensary at 744 N. Damen in West Town.

So far, the city zoning board has awarded the necessary special use permits to nine other dispensaries and one medical marijuana cultivation center. Ultimately, it’s up to the state to make the call and grant the limited licenses in Chicago. Up to 13 dispensaries will be allowed to open throughout the city. Two cultivation centers will be allowed in Cook County.

Contributing: Fran Spielman