Cannabis companies drop plan for weed shop at former Rainforest Cafe site – Chicago Tribune

A clouted cannabis partnership has dropped its controversial plan to open a store at the former Rainforest Cafe in downtown Chicago.

State regulators had rejected a previous proposal by Progressive Treatment Solutions LLC, or PTS Corp., to move its Consume dispensary from Norwood Park to the old Rainforest Cafe at Clark and Ohio streets. The site is within 1,500 feet of three existing dispensaries, in violation of state law.

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So PTS formed a partnership with Bio-Pharm LLC, claiming they could locate within the exclusion zone because Bio-Pharm qualified as a social equity licensee, meant to diversify the white-dominated industry. But two lawsuits challenged the legality of the proposal, delaying the business from opening.

In response to recent Tribune inquiries, Mara Georges, an attorney who represented PTS and was the city of Chicago’s longtime corporation counsel, wrote, “The development of the former Rainforest Cafe site was delayed by litigation and the uncertainty and additional costs it brings. As a result, PTS and Bio-Pharm have decided to forego this site and pursue other options. They remain committed to ensuring the success of their companies and of the cannabis industry.”

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Nearby resident Robert Brown had filed a lawsuit claiming that the city illegally approved zoning for the

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