Chicago to allow expansion of recreational marijuana stores

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Chicago is easing zoning restrictions that will allow recreational marijuana stores to expand.

The City Council on Monday voted to lift the cap of seven marijuana zones in the municipality while limiting the number of retail stores, Chicago real estate news site The Real Deal reported.

The city, the largest in Illinois, has permitted 18 adult-use cannabis retailers so far; there are 110 statewide.

The approved proposal will also shrink the downtown zone where marijuana retailers aren’t allowed to operate, though they’ll still be banned from opening on a strip between Michigan Avenue and State Street as well as south Michigan Avenue.

Marijuana retailers can now open without special approval from Chicago regulators.

Retailers will be permitted where manufacturing operations are allowed as long as they are 650 feet from a residence.

This also means cannabis retailers can bypass the zoning lottery to sell marijuana.