Here we go again….
Just as is true just about everywhere cannabis is legalized, we hear from the politicians who want to protect women and children from the evil scourges of having a marijuana growing or dispensing facility anywhere near anyone. And let’s add some taxes into the mix while we are at it.
The Chicago Tribune recently did a story, entitled, Chicago aldermen mull medical marijuana rules, making clear that Chicago is not immune from over-protective politicians.
Before talking about the new medical marijuana rules being proposed for Chicago, let’s get out of the way the fact the cannabis attorneys at the Canna Law Group do NOT oppose reasonable regulations that are based on realities, but we do oppose arbitrary regulations that are geared more towards banning cannabis than regulating its overall safety.
As the Illinois State cannabis laws now stand, cannabis dispensaries must be located at least 1,000 feet away from residences, schools or daycare centers. That already does not allow for many locations in Chicago and that already provides ample neighborhood protections. But Mayor Emmanuel wants to go even beyond this to require special use permits from “the city Zoning Board of Appeals, a body appointed by the mayor which nearly always takes its cues from local aldermen.” Not sure how this extra requirement would do anything more than increase patronage opportunities.
Some Chicago politicos are also talking about imposing “some kind of a local tax on marijuana sales in Chicago, but gave no specifics on how that would work.” Illinois’s cannabis law does allow for says local communities to enact and enforce zoning laws for marijuana, but they cannot prevent a grower or dispensary from setting up shop entirely. At one point does over-regulating cannabis businesses tip over to the point where the regulations become a de facto ban?
The Illinois courts will probably end up having to decide this issue.