Evanston’s Land Use Commission voted 5-0 Wednesday night to recommend City Council approval of plans for a marijuana dispensary with an attached bakery and coffee shop at Howard Street and Chicago Avenue.
Ameya Pawar, one of the owners of the proposed OKAY Cannabis and West Town Bakery operation, told the commission the business hopes to change the model for the cannabis industry — from a purely transactional “wait in line” approach, to one in which people could drop by just for coffee, or coffee and cannabis, too.
“We want to normalize the narrative around it,” he added.
However, he said the bakery would not be selling cannabis-infused products — a different state license would be required for that — and, while anyone could enter the bakery, to get to the cannabis sales area customers would have to be over 21-years-of-age and be screened at the entryway.
Pawar said the companies involved have “a 93% black and brown ownership structure.”
Charles Mayfield, interim chief operating officer of the Chicago Public Schools, is the majority owner at 51%, while Pawar, a former Chicago alderman who’s on the board of the Heartland Alliance, has a 28.32% ownership interest.
Pawar said the