Medical marijuana dispensary lease reduced from 3 years to 1


Daily file photo by Zack Laurence

PharmaCannis is Evanston’s medical marijuana dispensary located at 1804 Maple Ave. PharmaCannis will have its lease term reduced from three years to one year.

Jonah Dylan, Sports Editor

PharmaCannis, a licensed medicinal marijuana dispensary located in downtown Evanston, will have its lease term reduced from three years to one year.

In April 2015, City Council approved PharmaCann’s lease through a subsidiary company, PharmaCannis. The change to PharmaCann’s agreement — approved by City Council at its Sept. 25 meeting — means its lease will expire on Dec. 31, 2018 instead of Dec. 31, 2020.

PharmaCann asked to reduce the lease due to uncertainty with the medical marijuana pilot program in Illinois. The program, which allows for the production of medicinal marijuana to treat approved medical conditions, was originally slated to end Dec. 31 of this year but was extended by Illinois legislature in August 2016 to run until 2020.

“Rather than waiting for the lease to expire, and then re-upping for a lengthy 3-year term, we simply asked Evanston to shorten our option terms to accommodate the extension of the program,” said Jeremy Unruh, PharmaCann’s general counsel, in an email to The Daily. “We have no plans to vacate, close up shop, or change our business. We simply wanted to be more nimble with our business if the need ever arises.”

PharmaCann opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in Evanston after the program was approved, according to the Chicago Tribune. According to its website, PharmaCann was founded in 2014 and has dispensaries across Illinois and New York. Its dispensary in Evanston is one of four in the state, and the company also has two cultivation facilities in Illinois.

The medical cannabis pilot program was approved by state legislature in 2013. The program includes a list of illnesses that make patients eligible to use marijuana as a medical therapy. Patients can petition the Illinois Department of Public Health to add medical conditions to the existing list.

Amelia Langas contributed reporting.

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