Evanston City Council passes ordinance to allow leasing for medical marijuana dispensary

    The Evanston City Council passed an ordinance Monday evening to allow city property to be leased in order to operate a medical marijuana dispensary.

    The potential dispensary site at 1804 Maple Ave. has been proposed under an Illinois state act passed in 2013 allowing up to 60 dispensaries across the state in a four-year trial. The city council approved the location on Maple Avenue last summer. The ordinance Monday allows the city manager to execute a lease agreement for the property with Pharmacann, LLC. For more information on medical marijuana in Evanston, check out our earlier coverage.

    Additionally at the meeting, the City of Evanston was recognized for its environmental initiatives by the World Wildlife Fund as a finalist for its Earth Hour City Challenge. The challenge encourages cities "to promote renewable energy and prepare for climate change" according to its website.

    The council also passed several ordinances regarding liquor licenses and sales in the city, including one which would allow grocers such as Whole Foods to sell alcohol for off-site consumption.

    Evanston residents voiced concerns at the meeting over the fate of Harley Clarke mansion, a historical building next to Lighthouse Beach. The building was leased by the city to the Evanston Arts Council for decades until the house's upkeep became too pricey. After negotiations with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for their possible use of the house ended in January, the property's fate is unclear.

    The city council meeting included tearful goodbyes to Alderman Coleen Burrus, who will be resigning from her position and leaving Evanston in order to accept a position with Princeton University.

    Burrus has served as an alderman for the past six years, and worked within the city government on the Planning Commission three years prior to her first term as alderman.


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