Illinois’ first social equity-licensed marijuana store set to open next weekPosted by On

What state officials say would be the first social equity-licensed marijuana store in Illinois is scheduled to open next week in Chicago’s River North area.

Green Rose Dispensary is soon to open on the site of the old Carson’s Ribs restaurant on Ontario at Wells streets, one of the most prominent locations in the city.

“We’re excited to open this dispensary,” said co-owner Thomas Wheeler, Jr., a former Chicago police detective commander. “It’s elegant and unique.”

The wealthy and connected owners of Green Rose at GRI Holdings, Inc., also include restaurateur Phil Stefani and former CTA executive John Trotta. Consultants on the project were Ross Morreale, co-founder of downstate Ataraxia cultivation center, and Jay Steward, former head of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which controls marijuana licensing for the state.

GRI qualified for the state’s social equity designation, which comes with preferred scoring for license applications, by hiring at least six employees who qualify for social equity by coming from neighborhoods with high rates of poverty or marijuana arrests, or who had prior minor cannabis convictions.




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Critics have called for eliminating that method of qualifying for social equity, and instead want diversity in ownership. Wheeler Jr. said GRI’s ownership and management team includes himself, an…

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