The Grasshopper Club, Chicago's 1st independent, Black-owned dispensary, opens in Logan Square

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family-owned cannabis dispensary celebrated its grand opening in Logan Square Tuesday.

The Grasshopper Club is Chicago's first independent, Black-owned dispensary.

Two brothers and their mother are behind the operation in the 2500-block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

"We don't have a relationship or get support or have an arrangement with one of the large, publicly-owned cannabis companies," owner Matthew Brewer said.

With the exception of some minor silent investors, the Grasshopper Club is owned by Brewer, along with his brother Chuck and their 74-year-old mother, Dianne Brewer.

"I'm working on the accounting aspects of this business," Dianne Brewer said. "I'm totally excited. I retired 12 years ago and here I am working again."

"For me to be doing this legally with my brother and my mother, it's priceless," Chuck Brewer said.

SEE ALSO | Black-owned Chicago brewery Moor's beer business is booming: 'We're growing very rapidly'

For Chuck Brewer, owning a dispensary is full circle. He was arrested for marijuana possession a couple times when he was young. Giving ownership opportunities to minorities disproportionately affected by illegal use was a big part of Illinois' law to legalize cannabis. But, it's been a struggle.

"They call it social equity, but you've got to have the money to be able to open and many African Americans don't have that money," Dianne Brewer said.

One of the Brewers' goals is to support other African Americans to open more independent dispensaries.

The Grasshopper Club is located in a 1920s bank building in the 2500-block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

Matthew Brewer said what sets his place apart is hospitality: the minute you walk in, an employee known as a "can-cierge" helps you find the right product.

"I tell people we are more like going to your favorite bar and ordering a drink," Matthew Brewer said.

This is just the beginning for the Brewer family, as they plan to open a second dispensary in the South Loop during the summer.
Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.