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Get it together, man

Monday, Sep 9, 2019

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments »
  1. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    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

    Interesting, if you look at how video poker deployed in the state it started from Springfield out I suspect because the advantage of being in/near Springfield is that where the regulators were located.

    Now imagine if there was a tactical advantage to placing a facility near 55 or such that proxmimity to a road that leads from Springfield gives you an advantage.


  2. - {Sigh} - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 2:52 pm:

    =“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.”=

    Is the issue not knowing who is next to you or being able to control the market by getting your paperwork approved first so the competition has to find a different location?


  3. - Fax Machine - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    Chicago hasn’t even started hearings about zoning for recreational marijuana and we’re 100 days & change away


  4. - WineTrailHero - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    For the record, Marion is voting to ban recreational cannabis in city limits tonight. As you stated concerning the Du Quoin State Fair “ban”…municipal suicide.


  5. - correction - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    The agency put up two roadblocks for the industry. Current dispensaries can’t move and new sites can’t open unless the local approves zoning and the location isn’t within 2500 feet of another site but the agency won’t tell you until the final review.

    Why the rush to get this approved and start on January 1 if the governor’s office isn’t going to work with the current industry to make this happen?


  6. - Flat Bed Ford - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    According to Dep Gov Christian Mitchell everything is fine. We can all sleep well tonight knowing that he’s got it all under control. I mean what can go wrong, right?


  7. - Randomly Selected - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    I’m sure by the time all of this gets sorted out there will be plenty of room for mom and pop or minority owned recreational facilities to have a piece of the pie too /s


  8. - Bruce (no not him) - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    From the tribune article.
    “Many of the questions the industry is raising are answered in the law itself or in guidance issued by state agencies overseeing the rollout, Mitchell said. And those that haven’t will be answered in due time as craft growers, infusers and other businesses come on line, he said.”
    “In due time.” That’s vague enough for a business to not want to spend big bucks starting a new location. Are they intentionally screwing this up?


  9. - njt - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===Theoretically, 110 dispensaries could start recreational sales Jan. 1 — if each of the 55 existing medical dispensaries were awarded licenses to sell it from their storefronts and a secondary location. So far, the state has issued five licenses to sell from existing dispensaries, including the one in Naperville that, as it stands, can’t be used.===

    Will IDFPR announce all licenses that are awarded? FM makes a good point, which seemingly can only be worsened if 4 of 109 possible locations are the only places open on 1/1/20.


  10. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    If every stakeholder put all their cards on the table…face up…that would be good …for consumers…and bad for business.

    Let the sun shine…in?


  11. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    The five dispensaries approved for rec are all owned in whole or part by the same company too.

    Long lines, disappointed consumers and medical patients having to pick from the scraps of whatever products are left are my expectations for the first three months of 2020. The state should have delayed the rollout until at least July 1 for sales and issued a few dozen cultivation or craft grow licenses to attempt to meet the demand. The current growers are already reducing their offerings and limiting how much dispensaries can buy.


  12. - sharkette - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    Yes, back pay is due to employees, it is also due to vendors.
    So until the legislators change laws, including pensions GOING forward, and employee health care costs GOING forward, State of illness will always be a toxic state


  13. - revvedup - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 5:16 pm:

    Once again (sigh) poor planning by the State leads to poor results. The businesses have legit beefs with this silly process and other rules. We have agencies drafting rules without any thought of practicalities (or reality some might say).


  14. - Career Politician 2.0 - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the industry (and all their lobbyists} support this bill?


  15. - @misterjayem - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 6:46 pm:

    “medical patients having to pick from the scraps of whatever products are left”

    I believe that medical dispensaries are required to set aside stock for their card carriers.

    – MrJM


  16. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 6:59 pm:

    ===I believe that medical dispensaries are required to set aside stock for their card carriers.===

    Yes, but if cultivators are already having trouble supplying ~80,000 patients how are they going to get even close to supply 800,000 IL residents plus tourists? Read any of the online IL medical patients groups and you’ll see how the squeeze is already being applied to them. IDFPR will require dispensaries to set aside a 6 month average of inventory just for medical patients but what good is that if the cultivators just are producing enough? And what type of fine would a dispensary face if they didn’t comply? A few dispensaries just see that as the cost of doing business from what i am told. Ask any of the 18-20 year old patients who are no longer allowed to buy flower about how much thought the ILGA has put towards their access to medicine and you’ll get my drift.


  17. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Sep 9, 19 @ 11:53 pm:

    I haven’t been around bureaucracy as long as I feel like I’ve been around bureaucracy, but this topic has the feel of entrenched appointees or appointees trying to become entrenched prioritizing their own programs and positions over the success of the law.

    Hopefully this will help Pritzker replace more people, and hopefully this will help him spot some folks that aren’t really keeping the best interests of his administration at heart.


  18. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 9:01 am:

    “Once again (sigh) poor planning by the State leads to poor results.”
    BPIA™ plans a lot.
    Then utterly fails
    to share plans
    or seek input
    from seasoned
    State employees and Management.
    Thus you’re getting
    “ahh, I wish you’d talked to us”
    “We can’t do this”
    or
    “This isn’t going to work”


  19. - Maryjane - Tuesday, Sep 10, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    If the very worst of all of this comes true on January 1, I suspect people who were enjoying Cannabis on New Years Eve will purchase more Cannabis after the new year from exactly the same source that sold it to them previously.

    I’m not looking forward to the next 24 months of articles (with a “straight face” )moaning about revenues not meeting expectations and black market bla bla bla, however.


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