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McHenry OKs plan for medical marijuana dispensary on Route 31

Crystal Clear Compassionate Care wants to open dispensary

McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett (left) and City Attorney David McArdle attend a City Council meeting April 15.
McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett (left) and City Attorney David McArdle attend a City Council meeting April 15.

The McHenry City Council has approved a conditional use permit for a marijuana business to open on Route 31.

Chicago-based Crystal Clear Compassionate Care Inc. wants to open a medical marijuana dispensary on a 2-acre parcel at 408 S. Route 31. The property currently houses the multitenant Park View Plaza shopping center, where Brunch Cafe and Meat and Potatoes restaurants operate.

A BP gas station, Aesthetics Boutique and Salon Te Elle Ce also are located in that area, and some officials have expressed concerns about parking, safety and traffic flow in the complex if the dispensary were to move in.

Crystal Clear operates multiple dispensaries throughout the U.S., as well as a cultivation center in Effingham. The state still is reviewing its application for the McHenry dispensary.

“We have a high degree of confidence that we will be accepted,” said Mitch Zaveduk, a Crystal Clear representative.

Crystal Clear simultaneously is applying for state approval to operate recreational marijuana dispensaries in Illinois, Zaveduk said.

“The business plan is to open a dispensary here in McHenry as soon as possible,” he said. “We really like this location, and whatever license [we get approved] first, we will probably apply for it here.”

Although the city approved a conditional use permit for the medical marijuana operation, Crystal Clear would have to come back before the council for approval if the state approves its recreational application and the business plan changes.

Businesses don’t have to identify a location in an application for a recreational marijuana license, Zaveduk said.

“This is the only location I am looking at in McHenry County because it’s the right property,” he said. “I am 100 percent dedicated to this center.”

However, some aldermen have expressed hesitation with the uncharted territory that is the recreational marijuana industry.

“The medical is one thing, but once you gravitate to the recreational, it just doesn’t fit,” 1st Ward Alderman Victor Santi said. “It’s taking that first step with a high probability the second step is going to happen, and that’s a concern.”

Council members approved the permit, with Santi and 2nd Ward Alderman Andrew Glab voting against the proposal, while 3rd Ward Alderman Jeffery Schaefer, 4th Ward Alderwoman Bobbi Baehne, 5th Ward Alderman Chad Mihevc, 6th Ward Alderman Patrick Devine and 7th Ward Alderwoman Sue Miller voting in favor.

Crystal Clear must obtain permission to operate the dispensary from the state by
Dec. 31, 2020, or the conditional use permit will expire.

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