The first marijuana dispensary on Lake Zurich opens in the spring
If all goes according to plan, Bloc, the first marijuana store in Lake Zurich’s history, will open to customers by the end of April.
The village’s board of directors voted 4-1 earlier this month to authorize the plan to convert the former TGI Fridays restaurant on South Rand Road near Costco to a marijuana store, which will sell both to clients for medical and recreational use.
Mitchell Zaveduk, vice president of real estate for Justice Cannabis Co., the Chicago-based company that operates the Bloc store chain, said the company was designing the store and would soon submit plans to village staff.
Once the village approves the building permits, Zaveduk said the company would likely start working inside the building during the winter and then move outside once the weather warms up.
He said changes to the existing building will be cosmetic, including the removal of TGI Fridays’ traditional red awning and the addition of the Bloc logo.
Jon Loevy, co-founder of Justice Cannabis Co., said he wanted the Lake Zurich site to be the flagship of the Bloc chain. Zaveduk said the company is busy opening stores in Michigan, Missouri and New Jersey and aims to open more in Rockford and the Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago.
He said the store’s name comes from the idea that it’s part of a neighborhood.
“It’s about being part of the bloc,” Zaveduk said. “When you get to the clinic, you just walk downstairs. “
Zaveduk said when the store is operational, it will be part of village events such as Rock the Block, the annual block party in downtown Lake Zurich.
“We want the name to be recognized by the community,” Zaveduk said. “We will participate in community activities.
The village board approved the Bloc’s opening plan in a short meeting on November 1. refused to ask questions of the petitioners, and the entire council meeting ended in less than half an hour.
The trustee Marc Spacone cast the only dissenting vote. Spacone, principal of Larson Middle School in Elgin, previously said he would vote against the plan because he believed the presence of the dispensary would lead to more children using drugs.
Mary Beth Euker, Janice Gannon, Jonathan Sprawka and Greg Weider voted in favor of the plan.
For the village council to approve a marijuana dispensary seemed like a long road until September 2019, when the council imposed a one-year moratorium on creating rules for dispensaries.
In December 2020, the board approved the current dispensary rules. These require that dispensaries be established at least 500 feet from a school, daycare or group home; 250 feet from a park and 1,500 feet from another dispensary.