Los Angeles-based MedMen, which operates a dispensary in Oak Park, received a city permit for a location at 1001 W. North Avenue in the heart of the Clybourn Corridor.

Los Angeles-based MedMen, a distressed publicly-traded cannabis company, laid off 128 employees last month but hopes to expand its presence in Illinois. The company, whose deal to acquire Chicago-based PharmaCann for $680 fell through last fall, was issued a permit to open a dispensary at 1001 W. North Avenue. Often referred to as “The Apple Store of Dispensaries” due to its design and customer experience, the Chicago MedMen location would sit adjacent to the Clybourn Corridor Apple Store. Chicago investors Dan Tierney and Stephen Schuler hold significant financial stakes in MedMen and PharmaCann. 

Acreage Holdings, a New York-based cannabis company that includes the likes of former House Speaker John Boehner and former Canadian Prime Minister John Mulroney on its board of directors, received city approval to open a Nature’s Care dispensary location at 810 W. Randolph Street in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop. 

Marketing technology startup Fyllo, which is based in Chicago and sells compliance software and services to cannabis brands and agencies, hired Buddy Media co-founder Jeff Ragovin as its first Chief Commercial Officer. Buddy Media, which helped big brands market on social media, in 2007 was acquired by Salesforce for $745 million. 

Leaf.trade, a Chicago-based ordering and fulfillment software provider for cannabis retailers that raised $4.2 million last year in a venture round led by Chicago-based Hyde Park Angels, expanded its distribution partnership with Verano Holdings, a multi-state cannabis retailer, cultivator and processor that was started in Chicago and acquired by Phoenix-based Harvest Health for $850 million in stock in 2019. As part of the deal, leaf.trade will serve Verano’s Nevada-based dispensaries. 

New York-based cannabis-focused real estate investment trust Innovative Industrial Properties is committing $50 million to acquire and upgrade an Oglesby, Illinois-based growing and processing facility built and initially owned by Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries. Green Thumb Industries will lease back and continue to operate the facility. 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.