Chicago City Council proposed two rules for licensing cannabis dispensaries yesterday. The ordinance is O2019-5605. One rule would prohibit people from consuming pot at a dispensary between 9 PM and 9 AM.

A second rule would prohibit a dispensary from opening within 500 feet of a school, child care facility, or a building or location used "for the education or recreation of minors or young adults under the age of 21". While the list of "sensitive uses" doesn't specify parks or playgrounds, the quoted phrase could be interpreted to mean parks and playgrounds. 

MAPS uses Chicago Cityscape's exclusive mapping platform to efficiently locate suitable sites for businesses wanting to open a dispensary in Chicago. Contact us to ask how we can create a custom map and spreadsheet of suitable locations.

Illinois law, enacted in June, doesn't establish minimum separation between recreational cannabis dispensaries and sensitive uses, except that it does establish a 1,500 foot minimum distance between a recreational dispensary and any other dispensary. On the other hand, state law prohibits medical cannabis dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of selected sensitive uses ("a pre-existing public or private preschool or elementary or secondary school or day care center, day care home, group day care home, or part day child care facility"). 

The medical cannabis law (enacted in 2013) also prohibits medical cannabis dispensaries in R-Residential zoning districts. However, the new recreational law has no prohibition on allowing a recreational cannabis dispensary in an R-Residential zoning district. 

The next step in Chicago would be to introduce a zoning code amendment. Currently, the Chicago zoning code doesn't have a recreational cannabis dispensary use, meaning a recreational cannabis dispensary is not allowed in any zoning district at the moment. There is no City Council meeting in August so the earliest one could be introduced is September 18. The Committee on License and Consumer Protection could hear the licensing ordinance at their next meeting, which hasn't been scheduled.

A separate ordinance, O2019-5604, was introduced that would impose a three percent sales tax, the revenues of which would go to Chicago's pension fund obligations. 

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has issued an FAQ that describes a siting rule for medical cannabis dispensary operators who are going to apply for an Early Approval recreational cannabis dispensary license. Those operators’ “second site”, for the recreational dispensary can be in any BLS region that intersects their existing medical dispensary’s BLS region. Contact us for more info about BLS regions.

Bubbles represent a 500 foot buffer around known locations of sensitive uses, including parks and playgrounds. Eligible Chicago zoning districts are not shown because they haven't been established to allow recreational cannabis uses.

Bubbles represent a 500 foot buffer around known locations of sensitive uses, including parks and playgrounds. Eligible Chicago zoning districts are not shown because they haven't been established to allow recreational cannabis uses.