Chicago’s Zoning Rules Could Prohibit Dispensaries

Chicago’s strict zoning rules for medical marijuana dispensaries could prohibit the shops from operating within the city limits altogether.

That’s the argument of Ed Burke, dean of the Chicago City Council, who told state officials earlier this month that the city’s zoning rules effectively ban the businesses. Under the rules, dispensaries cannot open in residential areas or within 1,000 feet of a school or day care center.

The rules are similar to MMJ zoning regulations in other U.S. cities. But due to Chicago’s large residential areas and population density, the rules make most of the city off-limits.

He said the city’s planning department has prepared a map of Chicago that upholds his argument.

The zoning laws also present challenges in the suburbs. The town of La Grange, for example, has only one section along the town’s northeast corner that would qualify for a dispensary. La Grange does not quality for a cultivation center, which must be 2,500 feet away from schools or day care centers.

Under the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, Chicago is allowed to have up to 13 medical marijuana dispensaries.

Burke is also upset that state officials did not consult city leaders before they dictated the rules.

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3 comments on “Chicago’s Zoning Rules Could Prohibit Dispensaries
  1. Greg on

    IL mmj program is a flat out joke. Super Strict zoning laws, super high startup cost (500,000), strict regulatory rules and taxes. plus limited conditions for mmj as well as no home grows. You must be f-ing insane to open up a dispensary or cultivation center in IL.

  2. Mark on

    You got that right, due restrictions on qualifying conditions, first year patient base might hit 3000. U need about 250 regular patients to run a dispensary, there will be 70 dispensaries, in a market that will support 12. And all those licenses are already spoken for, in Illinois you can bet on it, the application process is not fully defined, but the licenses are already awarded, the other thing is that it’s a 4 year pilot program, talk about being a risky investment, same thing for the cultivators, one per state police district, how is that going to work in the rural districts where u might be growing for a handful of patients. AND anybody interested not politically connected gotta have half a mil to spend, Time for a Chicago daaable chek!

  3. Hellmudd on

    Why such a big deal?.. they have liquore stores ten feet from the schools.. why not mmj? Shooting themselfs in the foot by having all this red tape!

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