Adult-Use Cannabis Sales Would Be Banned in Most of Chicago Under Mayor’s Zoning Plan

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed banning adult-use cannabis sales in most of the downtown area as part of a new zoning plan.

The rest of the city would be split into seven “cannabis zones,” where licensed dispensaries could set up shop when adult-use sales launch on Jan. 1, according to a CBS Chicago report.

Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law caps the number of dispensaries in Chicago, and Lightfoot’s proposal aims to ensure the shops are distributed evenly across the city, CBS Chicago reports. Lightfoot said her plan would also give areas impacted by the war on drugs an opportunity to participate in the market.

Lightfoot’s proposal includes an exclusion zone in the Central Business District, according to CBS Chicago, where adult-use cannabis sales would be prohibited, and dispensaries would not be able to locate within 500 feet of a school or within any designated residential zoning district.

Existing medical cannabis dispensaries in Chicago would be allowed to transition to the adult-use market under the plan, CBS Chicago reports.

Lightfoot introduced the proposed rules at a City Council meeting Sept. 18 and faced opposition from several aldermen, according to an ABC 7 Chicago report. Some argued that the Central Business District is a prime area to generate revenue from cannabis sales to tourists and visitors, ABC 7 reported, while Lightfoot maintained that her plan would keep the area “family friendly.”

Lightfoot’s proposal requires approval from the City Council before it can be enacted, and some alderman hope a compromise can be reached before the next meeting in October, ABC 7 reports.

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