What are Cannabis services?

State of Illinois and City of Chicago regulations define how and where a medical and adult use (recreational) cannabis dispensary can be located. In Chicago, dispensaries are subject to special use approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

MAPS has experience permitting hundreds of buildings and stores in Chicago. Cannabis dispensaries, however, have some differences in how they are approved compared to other buildings and retail businesses.

MAPS also offers a suite of Cannabis services to property owners, architects, and dispensary operators.

Site & Development Vignettes & Studies

Work with MAPS’s team of urban planners, zoning rule experts, and designers to develop a site program or conduct a feasibility study. We draw upon our design experience, code knowledge, best practices, and access to vast data resources.

Site Selection

Finding a suitable location that meets all of the Illinois and Chicago rules can be tough. MAPS understands all of the siting rules and has assembled the necessary geographic data to efficiently identify suitable sites in a given area.

Checklists, Consulting, Lobbying

Part of the MAPS difference is our strategic planning and anticipating changing rules and requests from regulators. We have a checklist for Chicago-based dispensaries that’s useful to architects and operators preparing for submittal to the City of Chicago and Zoning Board of Appeals. We can also help you understand the timelines and processes in Chicago.

Feasibility Study

If you have a building or location in mind, our architects can conduct a feasibility study to determine existing building conditions and assess the space’s suitability for a dispensary.

Zoning Board of Appeals

MAPS’s urban planning department can give the required expert testimony, and create a planning report for a cannabis dispensary’s application to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

Permit Management & Code Consulting

One of our core services, MAPS’s approach to permitting includes understanding the architecture, engineering, and political and regulatory aspects of every project. MAPS can also review all cannabis projects for quality control, and ensure they comply with all building, structural, accessibility, MEP, and fire protection codes.


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MAPS has created a real-time citywide map that can be accessed nearly instantly. The interactive online map will be “alway updated” as rules may be tweaked. The fee is $1,250 – contact us for an invoice and access.

The map – created in partnership with Chicago Cityscape – show the three groups of zoning districts, cannabis districts, disproportionately impacted areas, public and private schools, and more.

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