1804 Maple Ave. in a Google Maps image from 2019.

Evanston’s only cannabis dispensary will seek a favorable recommendation from the Land Use Commission this week for its planned expansion at the city’s Maple Avenue Garage.

The Zen Leaf Dispensary , operated by the vertically-integrated cannabis producer Verano, wants to expand into the Enterprise Rent-A-Car space just north of the existing dispensary.

That will grow its space from about 2,400 to 3,900 square feet.

The business would continue to operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Verano says it plans to spend about $1 million on the expansion, turning the property into “a state-of-the-art, flagship cannabis dispensary” with “high-end finishes.”

The company says it will create 45 to 55 full and part-time positions that will pay between $35,000 and $75,000 a year.

The City Council has voted to fund its first-in-the-nation reparations program with tax revenue from cannabis sales. So far funding for that program has fallen short of initial expectations because of delays by the state in licensing additional cannabis dispensaries.

The Land Use Commission meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Civic Center.

The special use permit will ultimately require City Council approval.


Update 4/14/22: The Land Use Commission voted 7-0 Wednesday night to recommend approval of the special use permit to the City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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