First of LGBTQ+-owned dispensaries set to open in Northalsted – Windy City Times

Since 1970, 3340 N Halsted St. had been the home of the Townhall Pub, the beloved cash-only dive bar known for its tasty drinks and friendly staff. But after Townhall’s former owner William Bucholtz passed away from COVID-19 in 2021, the pub closed down. Now, about three years later, a new business is set to open the space again for business—this time as a cannabis dispensary.

In the coming weeks, the Sway dispensary will become a new cannabis dispensary co-owned by entrepreneur Kevin Hauswirth (a one-time Windy City Times 30 Under 30 honoree), LGBTQ+ activists (and Sidetrack owners) Art Johnston and Jose “Pepe” Peña, cannabis policy advocate Edie Moore and other co-owners. Located in the heart of Northalsted, the Sway dispensary will be the first of three new locations, Moore told Windy City Times.

Peña planted the seed for a cannabis dispensary decades ago, Johnston recalled in an interview with Windy City Times owner Tracy Baim.

“I remember clearly in 1973,” Johnston said. “One day Pep said to me, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could make a living selling marijuana rather than alcohol?’ He was a bartender, and we both laughed at that. And now here we are all

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