PTS Corp. makes second effort to open weed dispensary in River North, Chicago, in former Rainforest Cafe, closed during COVID

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CHICAGO (WLS) — The company that wants to open a marijuana dispensary in the former Rainforest Cafe made its case at a Tuesday night meeting hosted by the River North Residents Association.

Palatine-based Progressive Treatment Solutions, or PTS Corp., which currently operates four Consume dispensaries and a grow center in Illinois, wants to move a dual-use pot store from 6428 N. Milwaukee Ave. at 605 N. Clark St., which previously housed the colorful Rainforest Cafe until it closed amid the pandemic in August 2020.

An earlier effort by PTS to move its drinking dispensary to the site was denied, saying it was illegal under state law.

A dispensary cannot open within 1,500 feet of an existing pot shop unless it is owned by a so-called social equity seeker, according to Finance Department spokesman Chris Slaby and Illinois regulations.

There are at least three dispensaries that seem to be within this distance. PTS, one of the first companies to be licensed to sell weed in Illinois, does not have social equity status, a designation created to diversify the male-dominated weed industry. whites.

Dispensaries that sell medical and recreational weed, like Consume in Norwood Park, also can’t legally leave their designated medical district, Slaby said. But PTS would have to do just that to move into the closed Rainforest Cafe building.

The company is trying again after partnering with a social equity firm.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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