cannabis site proposal

A second cannabis dispensary in Danville is proposed on a lot near the Econo Lodge on Eastgate Drive.

DANVILLE — The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approving a special-use permit for a second cannabis dispensary in Danville.

The Danville City Council will act on the permit on Nov. 16.

The commission also recommended amending the city’s zoning code to comply with state law to allow one qualifying applicant or Social Equity Justice involved lottery winner to locate within 1,500 feet of an early approval adult-use site.

Founder Brad Zerman with Seven Point of Illinois LLC of Northbrook, Ill., is requesting a special-use permit for an adult-use cannabis dispensary in Lot 1 of the subdivision at 388 Eastgate Drive. This is the lot closest to Econo Lodge, now used for parking and owned by Danville Hospitality LLC and Joe Patel.

Danville Grants and Planning Manager Logan Cronk said the lot off Lynch Road seems to fit the use. There also appears to be no issues with a proposed site plan, which includes plenty of parking. Just a front setback and a couple tweaks need to be addressed, according to Cronk.

Cronk said the city doesn’t see a negative outcome from the special-use permit.

Commissioner Pete Goodwin said of that area, “that’s just been a blight for some time too. it’s just terrible to look at.”

Commissioner Justin Fleming added that this may be a good thing. He said the parking lot is always full at Sunnyside.

With city approval, construction on the dispensary could start in the spring around March 1, Zerman said, adding that he’d like to start sooner, but winter will soon be here.

Seven Point won a social justice lottery for the Danville region, Zerman said.

He said the two-story dispensary will not be a cookie cutter store, and will have a wide variety of products and prices. Zerman said they will source low-price cannabis.

He said they will be an adult-use store, but the cannabis is used medically by many people.

He said he got into the industry through medical cannabis.

He added that they also can work with Sunnyside’s Cresco Labs.

“We’re going to have great customer service,” he said.

The store also will have online ordering.

Zerman estimated hours to be around 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

“We want to hire locally. We’d rather have people from Danville,” he said, estimating they’ll have around 40 employees.

Zerman said priority will be given to Danville residents for jobs.

He said community benefits from the dispensary include an increase in jobs with living wages and benefits, increased sales tax, attracting patrons from other areas, they are joining Vermilion Advantage and they’ll have community events.

Zerman said he’s had experience with a dispensary in Oak Park.

According to the company, Seven Point formerly operated as an Oak Park-based Medical Cannabis Dispensary, and is now an Illinois cannabis dispensary applicant throughout multiple Bureau of Labor Statistics regions.

Seven Point was founded in 2014 as an Illinois medical cannabis wellness center applicant. It received one of the original 55 licenses granted by the state and it opened for business in 2016.

Since that time, Seven Point has been awarded vertically integrated cannabis licenses, two wellness centers and cultivation, in Massachusetts and received pre-qualification status in Michigan.

Zerman said they will have a security guard, and in Oak Park had 65 cameras in an under 4,000-square-foot store.

The security usually creates a safer environment in an area, Zerman said.

“Having two dispensaries in the area, i think will be very helpful for the market,” Zerman said about strengthening the existing cannabis market.

Danville already has one cannabis dispensary. Sunnyside Danville opened in May 2020, nearby at 369 Lynch Drive in the former Big Boy restaurant.

The city council in July approved a final subdivision plat of lots for the Econo Lodge property, creating four new parcels for potential future development.

Right now, dispensaries can only be located in the Eastgate, Lynch Road area, due to the city’s current zoning restrictions.

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