In Danville, officials to weigh another plan for 3rd pot dispensary


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Nov 27, 2023

In Danville, officials to weigh another plan for 3rd pot dispensary

May 26—DANVILLE — Less than five months after Danville officials rejected a

May 26—DANVILLE — Less than five months after Danville officials rejected a proposal for a third cannabis dispensary on the city's far eastern edge, another operator is giving it a try.

The city's Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at 5:15 p.m. Thursday to consider a request for a special-use permit from MariWorks LLC of Chicago to operate a dispensary on currently undeveloped land at 500 Eastgate Drive, across the street from Danville Metal Stamping Co. at the Lynch Road exit with Interstate 74.

A site plan included in the application says in one corner: "NuEra Danville, Eastgate Drive."

If the permit is approved, it would pave the way for a third dispensary in that area, joining Sunnyside at 369 Lynch Drive and the planned (and approved) Seven Point of Illinois dispensary at 380 Eastgate Drive.

In January, the council rejected a proposal to develop Parkway Dispensary in the same area.

MariWorks' application, which has already attracted at least two opponents, states that part of the property at 500 Eastgate would be used for a dispensary, leaving the rest for future development.

MariWorks couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

The zoning commission received a letter opposing the proposed dispensary from Gardner Peck, executive vice president of Danville Metal Stamping.

"Granting this permit would result in three separate dispensaries within 2,200 feet of each other. This concentration is not beneficial for the industrial park," his letter states. "It is likely that a third facility directly across the road from our facility would result in Danville Metal Stamping feeling the need to add even more security cameras at our facility to ensure the safety and security of Danville Metal Stamping employees and property."

Brad Zerman, CEO of Seven Point, said it has a mobilization date of July 18 from a Chicago contractor for its planned 6,500-square-foot building, and he hopes to see that dispensary ready to open late in the first quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, he's joining the opposition to a third dispensary, saying Seven Point "is being undermined by the Danville Planning and Zoning Commission and the Danville City Council."

"We came to Danville early on — just four days after Seven Point's lottery ball was selected in August 2021," he said. "We met with the city and Vermilion Advantage, and within a couple months, we had 380 Eastgate Drive under a purchase contract, obtained all necessary zoning for a dispensary and we continued paying money to the seller through the rest of 2021 and all of 2022 while the state dealt with litigation issues."

If the request for the newest dispensary is approved, Zerman said, it "short-serves the city of Danville and forces most residents to one area for cannabis."

"Why not spread these stores around the area and increase property values in other areas? I paid over $500,000 for our land, and it was already overpriced from the casino coming to the area," he said. "Once cannabis companies go to other areas of the city, other businesses will follow, increasing property values throughout the area."

Zerman also contended that there won't be a need for third dispensary in the area, "which will just cause redundancy in the product mix."

He said Seven Point is an independent cannabis company, and the Danville store is one of two it has planned, with the other in Berkley, Mich.