* The Tribune has a story up on more complaints about how the cannabis law is being rolled out by the state…
Companies are required to open their second store in the same designated area as their existing medical dispensary. They must show the state that they have at least applied for local zoning approval, and they can’t open within 1,500 feet of another licensed medical or recreational pot shop.
In guidance issued last month, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said that secondary site licenses will only be issued after a new store has passed a final state inspection, essentially setting up a first-come, first-served system.
Marijuana companies say this could create a system where businesses pour capital into a new retail store only to be beaten out by another business down the street or around the corner.
“Then you have to find a new site and you did all that work,” said Chris Stone, senior policy adviser and co-owner of Ascend Illinois, which operates medical dispensaries in Springfield and Collinsville. “One of the problems is you’re not going to know about who’s next to you until everybody files their secondary license.”
The state acknowledged the possibility of such conflicts in a memo last month and advised companies to keep an eye on the competition by methods that include filing open-records requests with local zoning boards.
The state can’t put that info online somewhere?
* From that aforementioned IDFPR memo…
We are aware that potential conflicts may arise between applicants for Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses if they seek locations for their second site dispensaries that are within 1,500 feet of each other. In the event of such a conflict, the applicant who receives a license first will be the one permitted to operate. IDFPR will not grant a license for a secondary site until the applicant’s facility has passed final inspection by the CCS, which will occur after receipt of the necessary zoning approval. IDFPR will also not grant a license if it has granted another dispensing organization a license at a location within 1,500 feet of the applicant’s proposed location. In this situation, IDFPR will require the applicant to amend its application with a different location, and if the applicant does not do so, it will deny the application.
One way to minimize the possibility of such conflicts is for potential applicants to make themselves aware of the proposed locations of other applicants. Such information is typically publicly available as part of a municipality’s zoning approval process. For example, any zoning approval or permit requests filed with the City of Chicago can be obtained from the Department of Planning and Development or Department of Buildings via a FOIA request through the following website: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/narr/foia/foia contacts.html.
The CCS will strive to ensure a fair and transparent process for awarding Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses. If you have questions for CCS related to applications for Early Approval Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses, please submit them via e‐mail to FPR.AdultUseCannabis@illinois.gov. The CCS will not be responding to individual questions at this time and, instead, will address questions by providing additional information about the application process to all eligible applicants at the same time.
By the way, there’s a lot more to this Tribune story, so click here to read the rest.