A marijuana dispensary, and pot-growing facility, might be coming to a shuttered movie theater on Springfield’s west side.
Opening a dispensary is the first step, according to Chris Stone, a real-estate investor and lobbyist who is helping put the deal together. If all goes as planned, Maribis, which has dispensaries in Grandview and Chicago, would open a dispensary at the Parkway Pointe AMC movie theater complex at 3025 Lindbergh Boulevard that closed last year.
There is a time crunch. Under state law, Maribis, which began as a medical marijuana company before Illinois legalized recreational pot, has until March 31 to open a new dispensary for recreational marijuana under its state license. Work began this week at the closed theater, and the process is being fast-tracked by the mayor’s office, which, according to Stone, issued a demolition permit Tuesday directly instead of requiring the developer to apply for a permit through usual processes within the city’s public works department.
“I officially put in a demolition permit today, just to cover ourselves,” said Stone, who says he has an interest in the real estate but not the cannabis growing or dispensing side of the enterprise. “We did get an executive order from the city allowing it.” Mayor Jim Langfelder could not immediately be reached for comment.
The project has started despite no permits from the state for any new grow operations in Illinois. While Maribis has a state license for a new dispensary, a rezone will be required for the Parkway Pointe site, according to Stone, who says an application has been submitted to the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission. He says that he expects the commission to decide by the end of the month. The city council also must approve the rezone request.
Stone envisions a dispensary