It took Michael Cardozo four years and many trips through the Illinois state bureaucracy, but he is now set to open a cannabis business.
In 2019, his company, the New Jersey-based Karuna Ventures approached the village about opening a recreational cannabis dispensary. Those plans expanded to include a craft grower and an infuser, allowing the company to grow and sell its own cannabis products. But securing the necessary licenses from the state has taken years, and so far, Karuna has only obtained an infuser license.
The business will operate out of a pair of converted shipping containers placed at a fenced-off area south of the Ferrara Pan Fitness Factory gym building on Circle Ave. Under the village zoning code, infusers are allowed as conditional use – in other words, the village would approve it on case-by-case basis. The application cleared the Forest Park planning and zoning commission in July, and the village council gave the final approval Monday.
Cannabis infusers put the oil from the cannabis plant into various products. In August 2022, the Illinois Department of Agriculture issued a compliance alert specifying that those products must be “beverage, food, oil, ointment, tincture, topical formulation, or another