Illinois took a large step last week by opening the first cannabis shop with a bar and bakery. This is the first store of its kind within the state and marks a large step forward in creating safe social spots for cannabis consumption. The business is called Okay Cannabis and serves beer, wine, liquor, baked goods, and cannabis.
The majority owner is Charles Mayfield, interim chief operating officer for Chicago Public Schools. He is partnered with minority owner Ameya Pawar who is a former Chicago 47th Ward Ald. Mayfield, who is African American qualified as one of the first social equity dispensary owners in the state. Through this social equity program, the two, along with some others chose to put their resources into opening Illinois’s first hang out friendly cannabis shop.
The shop is a massive 12,000 square feet and is located where an old Twin Peaks restaurant used to be located on Milwaukee Avenue. The café and bar are separate from the cannabis section but under the same roof. After purchasing your products you are welcome to go and consume your goods in the lounging area.
Guests must be at least 21 years of age to enter the business and require proof of identification upon entering. According to Weiner, one of the minority owners, he said the intent for the business is to make an experience for cannabis consumers and others. Rather than the buy-and-get-out experience, they want you to stay and hang out in the relaxing atmosphere.
The licenses for this shop to open were issued way back in 2015 but there were a multitude of complications. After implementation of the social equity program as well as zoning, the shop was able to finally open their doors to the public.
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