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Who won and lost in city’s weed lottery

PharmaCann won big, while GTI got shut out of downtown in a lottery with the jackpot of a lifetime for the marijuana industry.

Like any other lottery, there were winners and losers, big smiles and tense grimaces when the city of Chicago drew names this morning to decide which companies would get a shot at coveted locations for marijuana dispensaries.

Farzin Parang, chairman of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, spun a metal drum and plucked out envelopes before a packed room at City Hall. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in an effort to spread the wealth, divided the city into seven districts, which will initially be allowed seven dispensaries each. But, predictably, the most interest was in downtown and the North and Near West sides. 

PharmaCann and Cresco Labs, two of the largest cannabis companies, won big. Green Thumb Industries got shut out. Zach Zises, co-owner of Dispensary 33, wore his lucky tie and got the eighth of 31 picks.

Cresco won the first pick, and co-founder Joe Caltabiano chose one of just seven available slots downtown. “It’s where the people are and where the opportunity is,” Caltabiano said. “If I were opening a restaurant, I’d put it there.”

PharmaCann had four picks, getting all of them before GTI got its first. Cresco got two of its three picks in the first six slots, taking two downtown slots. The downtown slots were gone by the time GTI picked. [Read More @ Crain’s Chicago Business]

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