The new medical marijuana dispensary in Worth has past final inspections and is scheduled to open this weekend.
“They were delayed a week because they were waiting for furniture,” said Worth Mayor Mary Werner. “But they should be ready Friday. But once the product is delivered, they will only open their doors for patients who have appointments.”
The mayor said that a lot of work had to be done during the last month on the former children’s clothing store at 11425 S. Harlem Ave. Plumbing had to be inspected behind the dry wall. The Worth Palos Fire Department District also had to make their inspections before the dispensary opened, added Werner.
This is the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in this region. Another dispensary opened earlier this month in Justice. Windy City Cannabis operates both the Justice and Worth dispensaries. The Justice facility is in another region.
Werner said that the opening was delayed from the original plans. The project was stalled last year after Bruce Rauner replaced Pat Quinn as governor. The new administration reviewed the permits and gave their approval later in 2015.
Nearly two years ago, many Worth residents had concerns about a medicinal marijuana dispensary in the village. Speculation ranged from the building attracting drug addicts and increasing crime in the area.
Those concerns were alleviated through a series of meetings that were held. The marijuana is designed to alleviate pain from patients who have a variety of ailments. Illinois law has 39 conditions and diseases that already qualify for medicinal marijuana use with a doctor’s signature. Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C and multiple sclerosis already qualifies.
Werner is confident that the dispensary will be a success. Some published reports have stated that some of the dispensaries that recently opened are lacking patients. The reason for that is that some diseases do not qualify under Illinois law for medicinal marijuana, some officials point out
The mayor said the community began to support the idea after a year of debate. A town hall meeting held in September at the Worth Village Hall drew a large crowd who were mostly supportive.
“The first thing we had to do was create an ordinance to allow a dispensary to come here. Back then it was illegal,” said Werner. “The ordinance had to be passed. We talked to a lot of people who had concerns but we answered their questions. Our board approved it unanimously.”
The dispensary could provide more revenue for Worth. More than 3,000 patients with Ilinois-issued ID cards were able to buy medical marijuana for the first time this fall. Worth is one of four locations in the south and southwest suburbs that will have a medical cannabis facility. The other facilities besides Justice is Homewood and Posen. The Posen location is also scheduled to open by the end of January.