CHICAGO’S FIRST MEDICAL SHOP, DISPENSARY 33, OPENS WITH AN AIR OF ‘ORGANIC ELEGANCE,’ LINES OUT THE DOOR and 401K/HEALTH BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES
When the owners of Dispensary 33—Zachary Zises, Kristie Zises, and Paul Lee—opened the first medical marijuana shop in Uptown Chicago right before Christmas, the headlines screamed “First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens; Looks Like an Apple Store.” After years of vicious debate in Illinois, in December the owners and staff, along with a cast of politicians and medical marijuana advocates, finally hosted a ribbon cutting for the business. “I think it was a long time coming,” said Senator Heather Steans, before cutting the ribbon.
With the sophistication of delightfully brushed hardwood floors, manmade re-creations of organic themes (the number 33 on the wall cut from a series of dyed fabrics in the size of rolling papers), and origami “buds” as decorative pieces, the shop exudes the subtly exotic style of a tony fashion boutique or chic hair salon. “We wanted to create a space that reflects a retail environment focused on individual attention and products that represent the highest quality possible,” said Richard Park, a retail expert who consults for Dispensary 33.
Opened December 2015
500 N. CLARK STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60640
Chicago-based Perimeter Architects. “Jaime Magaliff was our lead architect,” noted Park.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
Ten. “Full time employees receive health benefits and 401k plans. Our wages are well above the new minimum wage standards. Our commitment to our employees is very important to us,” Park said.
“We hire people, not skills,” Park said. “We train skills. We look for good, honest, hardworking people. Our training program is intensive.”
AVERAGE PATIENTS A DAY
“High-quality flower for the relief of neuropathic pain. This was expected, as most patients in the program are enrolled for fibromyalgia and neuropathy,” said Park.
Grace’s Cookie, Strawberry Headband, and Holy Grail Kush. “This is not surprising, as these are strains with a good reputation in Chicago,” Park said.
“The response has been great,” Park said. “We are in the Andersonville neighborhood, which is a diverse, progressive area. The residents voted to allow us to stay by a margin of more than 70 percent. Alderman Ameya Pawar has been supportive throughout the process, and so has Sen. Heather Steans.”
“Product Driven. Patient Focused.”
PRE-98 BUBBA KUSH
GRAPE GOD BUD
ATARAXIA DARK CHOCOLATE/SEA SALT
ATARAXIA MILK CHOCOLATE HYBRID
ATARAXIA WHITE CHOCOLATE/BLACKBERRY