Giving Up on Illinois Cannabis: Why the Selling of Dispensary33 is Significant

In this week’s update on WTF Illinois Cannabis News, we are facing the loss of a locally owned dispensary. Dispensary33, Chicago’s first Medical Marijuana Dispensary, is being sold off to Miami based Ayr Wellness. Now this might not mean much to a lot of you, but let me give you a quick breakdown about why you should be sad. You see, brothers Zach and Bryan Zises were local. They were from Chicago, and I would argue, they even loved it. They were our last hope, the hope, that we could keep things right here. That they would be strong enough to hold out long enough to see our dreams come to fruition. Alas, they have also been bogged down by bureaucracies. Choosing instead to move on from a dream that was ours, and once theirs too. But let me start from the beginning.

Zachary Zises and Bryan Zises came together from vastly different industries.

Zach is basically a rich hippie in the eyes of his peers. He and his wife have a fairytale love story that was broadcast in various wedding sections. He is a filmmaker, an avid traveler, a lover of humans, by all means. A real Chicago kinda guy. Bryan on the other hand is a lover of humans in his own rite. Former president of public relations for the IDHS, he was an avid supporter of various government programs that helped people, and immigrants qualify for mortgage loans. He is considered a leftist nut, someone who was vocal about his Anti Iraq stances and support of leftist candidates. The kind of guy who could be seen at various home buying seminars and who championed for people to use these government placed programs.

And we’re losing them. After the tremendous amount of money and support they have received, they are bowing out to the lesser of the evils they encountered. Despite dreams to create their own consumption lounge in their hometown. Despite their own hopes and wishes for the cannabis legislation in Illinois. Because even tho they assure us Ayr is the closest company to their values, we know it is just the shittier of the shitty corporations. Sure, they are just a couple of the very white license winners. But of all of the dispensary owners in Chicago (which I will be posting something about too), they seemed to be the most real. The most passionate, and the most Chicago. And we’re losing them. Not to another Chicago based company. But to a Miami Based Wall Street motherfucker who knows nothing about our city.

Jonathan Sandelman is quite literally the kind of Wall Street cunt we all fear. And while his company statement and even his business plan seem to be fool proof, it still doesn’t negate the fact that the man speaks about cannabis as if it’s the hottest new product on the scene. The former president of BOA, publications of Sandelman give descriptions of him that would easily compare to those of the Wolf of Wall Street. His rise, and subsequent wealth came from the questionable sale of derivatives, and is the typical white boy skirting the law’s success story. Speaking on his new acquisition, Sandelman blandly states he looks forward to “developing scale and meaningful presence” which we already know is rich people talk for “it’s mine now bitch”

The saddest part is we have now seen the successful sale of every single locally owned dispensary. All before we’ve seen a single minority owned dispensary. Money talks, and Chicago cannabis people are walking. Bryan Zises says this sale will help boost the presence of mom and pop dispensaries in the city, but it’s almost more like a statement put out to get people off of his back. Because while so many are left in license limbo, we are watching dispensaries in 2 of the city’s hottest areas, in one of the most restricted states, being sold off. Just like that. For crumbs, because at $55 million dollars, the earning potential is astronomical. Especially in these areas. Despite all of the promises made, despite all of the potential in this state, if the Zises brothers have given up, what hope do the rest of us have?

Mex and the City Chicago maintains a strong belief in social equity. I discuss my topics that affect me as a Hispana cannabis consumer in Illinois. From events, to tips, to politics we’ll keep you in the loop.

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