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City's First Pot Farm Permit Awarded to Strip Club Owner

Local businessman Perry Mandera, owner of VIP's Strip Club and the Cardinal Fitness centers chain, may be the first to open and operate a state-sanctioned medical marijuana farm within city limits, according to DNAinfo. At a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Friday, Mandera's proposal for a far South Side site at 12233 S. Avenue O in Hegewisch, which included the installation of more than 100 security cameras and a tracking system, earned a special-use permit. The farm, which would do business under the name Custom Strains, still requires state approval, but if it comes online, the facility is estimated to be able to produce 4,500 pounds of medical marijuana annually. At around $50 an eighth, our totally unofficial estimate brings that amount of grass to roughly $28.8M worth of weed a year. Now, that's a lot of dope.

Mandera told the board he'd be bringing in experts from other states which have already legalized growing operations. The Marine vet also said he'd offer a 10% discount to fellow vets.

The board also approved permits for six dispensaries across the city, based on earlier rules meant to spread these businesses across the city:

·4760½ N. Milwaukee Avenue
·568 S. Archer Avenue
·5648 S. Archer Avenue
·2723 N. Elston Avenue
·500 W. 18th Street
·1105 W. Fulton Market Street

A Wicker Park location was rejected due to insufficient security arrangements.

·City's First Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center Gets Preliminary Approval [DNAinfo]
·Previous medical marijuana coverage [Curbed Chicago]