Illinois awarded the primary leisure marijuana licenses on Thursday, Aug. 29, which permits companies to promote weed freely. In line with the Chicago Tribune, the primary retailers to obtain licenses to promote are positioned in Naperville, Mundelein, Joliet, Effingham and Canton.

Earlier this yr, Illinois made historical past by changing into the primary state to legalize leisure marijuana by legislative motion. This landmark determination, taking impact on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, will enable all adults to own cannabis and allow medical marijuana sufferers to develop as much as 5 cannabis crops at dwelling legally. Nevertheless, the authorized standing of marijuana retailers remains to be considerably unsure.

Now that the sale of marijuana has been legalized statewide, the battle to resolve the place will probably be offered is left to native governments. The Illinois Hashish Regulation and Tax Act consists of provisions for “restricted cannabis zones,” the place dwelling cultivation and a few cannabis companies will be banned. It’s left as much as municipalities to resolve whether or not they wish to enable cannabis companies or not. Native communities can select to ask for the institution of such a restricted zone if at the least 25% of the registered voters of a precinct petition their alderperson to introduce an area ordinance.

The Authorized Marijuana Paradox

Out of the 5 cities that home the now-licensed cannabis companies in Illinois, solely Canton and Joliet have expressed their assist for the legalization motion. However in Naperville, the controversy on the legality of retail sale of leisure weed has attracted nationwide consideration. Town, which largely leans Republican, has been on the fence on this problem. 

“Having a medical marijuana dispensary has not harm our model one iota. If that had been badly run, and we had problems with will increase in crime or poor conduct or no matter you is likely to be afraid of, I could also be satisfied that this can be a dangerous concept, however that has not been the case in any respect,” metropolis council member Judy Brodhead instructed the Chicago Tribune following a break up vote suspending the choice. On Saturday, Aug. 31, a gaggle of residents referred to as Decide Out Naperville organized an indication to persuade the town council to vote in opposition to marijuana gross sales.

The marijuana invoice, signed into legislation by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, can ban leisure gross sales or simply limit the variety of dispensaries and their places. If such a enterprise had been to arrange store in a municipality that selected to ban the sale of leisure marijuana, their solely potential shoppers could be medical marijuana sufferers, thus significantly decreasing profitability.

Loopholes exist. As an illustration, the legislation was expanded in August 2018 to permit sufferers to change from opioid painkillers to medical marijuana, thus making greater than two million Illinois residents probably qualify to purchase medical marijuana. Extra just lately, the Compassionate Use of Medical Hashish Program Act was amended to incorporate extra medical circumstances qualifying sufferers for medical marijuana, together with autism, anorexia, migraines and extra. 

Nevertheless, though the legislation has been getting more and more permissive to grant entry to medical marijuana, it appears unlikely that dispensaries may have the identical degree of success with out leisure gross sales, thus driving companies out of cities that select to grow to be restricted cannabis zones.

Jean-Gabriel Fernandez

Sep. 03, 2019

1:51 p.m.