Chicago’s 1st Independent, Black-Owned Weed Dispensary Opens Second Location

Chicago has gained an additional cannabis shop. 

The Brewer family has tapped into a majority white industry – cannabis. The Brewer family, owners of Grasshopper Club, is opening a second dispensary location further south, located at 58 E Roosevelt Road. The dispensary is one of the first Black-owned cannabis dispensaries in Chicago.

The dispensary was established by brothers Matthew Brewer, Chuck Brewer, and their mother, Dianne Brewer, according to Book Club Chicago.

In attendance at the grand opening was Ald. Lamont Robinson, a former schoolmate of Matthew. 

Like the flagship store, the new location will employ workers with previous experience in retail and hospitality. Some employees will have cannabis industry experience. 

Chuck said this allows their business to create jobs and economic support for people excluded from the cannabis industry due to discrimination of incarceration. 

According to the outlet, the family had to overcome significant pushback and obstacles before opening the new location. People in the neighborhood voiced their concerns about traffic and safety issues. A public meeting was held to urge officials to prevent the opening of the cannabis shop in the South Loop. 

Mathew, a Harvard Business Graduate, was eventually able to persuade those who objected to the dispensary’s opening. Matthew said he even received apologies from some of the community members who were against the shop’s opening. 

At the grand opening, many of the neighbors who initially contested the dispensary were in attendance to support the business. 

“We’ve been in business now [in Logan Square] for six months, so we have a sense of what works and what doesn’t,” Matthew said. “… South Loop is such a remarkable neighborhood, and the fact that we can be the first in that neighborhood, I think it’s going to be game-changing.”

Governor JB Pritzker signed a law legalizing weed in 2019 to ease access into the industry for Black and brown people disproportionately affected by laws prohibiting drug use. Despite the law, there are still several obstacles to overcome when getting involved in the industry. “I think it’s the hardest thing that any of us have ever done,” Matthew said. “Part of it is just the intricacy of cannabis operations in general.”

The family has plans to expand, but these details are being kept within the family. 

Grasshopper Club’s hours of operation are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.