Growing cannabis in Bridgeview
Board approves two permits; state OK needed
By Steve Metsch
Two proprietors have cleared the first hurdles that may result in each opening a marijuana growing business in the village of Bridgeview.
Village trustees have voted 6-0 in favor approving the two special-use permits needed.
Jose Ibarra wants to open a growing facility at 7401 S. 78th Avenue. It’s in an existing warehouse.
Charles Wu wants to grow marijuana at 8915 S. Octavia Ave., south of the mobile home park on Harlem Avenue.
|If the state approves, cannabis will be grown here legally in Bridgeview. Photo by Steve Metsch|
The village’s zoning, planning and development commission, after a hearing was held on each proposal, determined that each have met the necessary requirements.
“I’m assuming that there’s plenty of research done on this, otherwise we probably wouldn’t be here about this,” Trustee James Cecott said.
Mayor Steve Landek said sufficient research has been done on both applications for special-use permits.
“Zoning is the first step,” Landek said. “If they’re not awarded licenses (by the state), it’s not going to happen.”
Cecott asked Police Chief Ricardo Mancha, “how do you feel about this type of business in town because it’s gonna be another thing for you to keep an eye on.”
Mancha said “it’s legal. I don’t see a problem with it.”
Trustee Claudette Struzik added, “They’re just growing. They’re not distributing.”
Cecott is concerned that “it’s a temptation for people to break in.”
“Both of them, at the zoning (commission hearing) said they’d have security inside the buildings, outside the buildings, barbed wire around the buildings … I was very impressed,” Struzik said.
Trustee Michael Pticek said the mother-in-law, age 87, of one of his daughters “is using the byproduct and it helps with her pain.”
“You can abuse money, power sex and the consequences are dire, but if this is used I the right way and it’s controlled by the state, and the relief it gives people with pain, I’ve got no problem with it,” Pticek said.
The site on 78th Avenue will be gated with restricted access. There will be no signage on property or trucks. A security camera system will be installed and monitored. Armed guards will be present at all times.
The applicant expects to hire 30 employees, if the growing center wins state approval.
The site on Octavia Avenue has similar requirements for signage and security cameras.
Struzik attended the zoning meeting.
“They were really prepared,” she said. “No worries … And they’re not even guaranteed. The state still has to approve them.”
The marijuana grown there will not be sold there, but will be shipped elsewhere, she said.
A similar operation called Bedford Grow has been growing and distributing cannabis from a cultivation center in Bedford Park since 2016.
— Desplaines Valley News