Category: Illinois Cannabis News

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Cannabis Industry NewsDispensariesFrom Our WritersIllinois Cannabis NewsLicensing

Chicago City Council Eases Cannabis Zoning Rules

terry roston

The Chicago, Illinois City Council Zoning Committee has approved a plan by Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) to eliminate the city’s cannabis zones and allow more retail cannabis dispensaries in downtown Chicago, the Real Deal reports. The move comes as Lightfoot seeks to bring more businesses to the area.

In all, there are 110 licensed retail cannabis dispensaries in Illinois but just 18 of them are in Chicago, which has cost the city an estimated $13 million in revenue, the report says.

The previous zoning law created seven so-called cannabis zones in Chicago and placed limits on the number of dispensaries allowed in each zone. The goal was to ensure dispensaries would be evenly spread out across the city. The law designated downtownfrom Division Street in the north, Van Buren Street in the south, from State Street in the west, and down to the Chicago River in the loopas an “exclusion zone” where dispensaries could not operate due to the area’s density and the number of tourists.

Under the plan, the revised exclusion zone will shrink, with Division and Van Buren streets still serving as the northern and southern borders, but Michigan and State streets will become the east and west boundaries, the report says.

The full City Council is expected to take up the proposal next week.

Applicants had to participate in a zoning lottery to potentially be approved to open in the city180 dispensary licenses are still waiting to be issued but have been delayed due to a lawsuit in Cook County.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

continue reading
Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersIllinois Cannabis NewsLegal IssuesLicensingRecreational

Illinois to Hold Another Cannabis License Lottery Following ‘Clerical Oversight’

terry roston

Illinois is holding another cannabis license lottery for previous applicants that were erroneously denied opportunities in previous rounds due to what Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top cannabis advisor called “clerical oversight in terms of data entry,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Toi Hutchinson, Pritzker’s cannabis advisor, said that as regulators discovered errors in the licensing process, they acted to correct them.

“It’s been painful to watch how long this has taken. As we move forward, this could get better every single year.” Hutchinson to the Tribune

Out of 937 businesses that submitted 4,518 applications to Illinois last year, just 21 of them earned perfect scores to qualify them for an initial lottery. Losing applicants objected and filed lawsuits, claiming the scoring by consultant KPMG saw different scores for identical application information, the report says. Regulators last month announced more than 50 license winners from three lotteries but there are still seven pending legal challenges that could affect the final outcome. In one case, a Cook County judge ordered the state not to award any of the licenses until the court rules on one case in which applicants challenged the scoring process.

The state attempted to rectify the cannabis licensing issues by passing a law that created two additional lotteries for applicants that scored 85% or better on their application; however, some applicants still argued that that the process unfairly favored white, politically connected, and wealthy applicants by allowing unlimited applications for those who could pay the $5,000 fee for each application, the report says.

Hutchinson told the Tribune that of 79 new licenses awarded to cannabis craft growers, infusers, and transporters last month, 43% went to black-owned firms. She also noted that the state’s cannabis industry is still almost completely white-owned.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

continue reading
Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersIllinois Cannabis NewsNormalizationRecreational Marijuana NewsTesting

Illinois Bill Would Set Limits for Fireable Levels of THC

terry roston

A bill proposed in Illinois would prohibit employers from firingor refusing to hireworkers simply for a positive cannabis test, according to a Chicago Tribune report. State Rep. Bob Morgan (D) told the Tribune that the intent of the law “is to categorize cannabis use on personal time” the same way the state treats any other substance so long as workers are not impaired in the workplace.

The law wouldn’t apply to workers in safety-sensitive positions and federal employees.

Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said the organization opposes the reforms because it could lead to more workers using cannabis. The chamber didn’t oppose the state’s legalization law because it included protections for employers, but Morgan’s proposal would undermine those standards, Maisch said in the report.

The proposal would allow employers to continue with pre-employment and random drug tests, with a “zero-tolerance” policy but employers would be required to allow up to the driving-while-impaired limit, which is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of saliva, urine, or other bodily fluid.

The bill was filed late last month but has not yet been assigned to any legislative committees.

Illinois has one of the nation’s hottest cannabis markets. Last May, cannabis tax revenues in the state surpassed those of alcohol.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

continue reading
Cannabis Industry NewsFrom Our WritersIllinois Cannabis NewsRetail

Lollapalooza Drives Illinois to Another Cannabis Sales Record in July

terry roston

Adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois set another new monthly record last month, driven, in part, by the Lollapalooza music festival, the Chicago Tribune reports. Sales in July reached $127.8 million10% higher than the previous record set in May.

It was the first time cannabis was legal during the festival’s 30-year history; although public cannabis consumption is not legal in Illinois.

Sales at retail dispensaries in the River North and West Loop neighborhoods around the festival were up by as much as 50%, shop owners and operators told the Tribune. Jason Erkes, spokesman for Cresco Labs, whose Sunnyside Dispensary in River North was the closest to Lollapalooza, indicated the retailer had its “biggest weekend to date.”

According to state data outlined by the Tribune, sales to out-of-state customers rose 16% from June to $42 million in July; in-state residents spent about $85 million over the course of the month.

“Summer tourism and the Lollapalooza attendees were strong contributors to July’s out-of-state sales.”Erkes to the Tribune

Jane, the e-commerce cannabis platform also reported a sales increase during Lollapalooza, with sales at 18 Chicago stores up about 6%, compared with the previous four weekends. Despite a ban on smoking at Grant Park, Jane reported a 27.5% increase in pre-rolls sales, the highest increase of any product category.

Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, told Marijuana Moment in May that he believed the state would “blow past” a billion dollars in cannabis sales this yeara feat the state accomplished with combined medical and recreational sales last year.

Underground Dispensary
Author: TG Branfalt

continue reading