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Looking on the bright side

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* “How do you say no to jobs?”

With a little over 100 days until recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois, Oglesby licensed cannabis grower is expanding and adding new jobs.

Monday, Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara announced that Green Thumb Industries plans to launch a $1.5 million expansion of its operations in the next 30 days. Rivara termed it “an elaborate kind of operation” that, once completed, would create 40-50 jobs.

Rivara said he has “mixed emotions” about legalization — Oglesby, he said, would not modify its drug testing policy for city employees — but not at all conflicted about the economic development opportunity at hand.

“How do you say no to jobs?” Rivara said.

* Moving north

City Manager Bill Nicklas said the city is already being approached by interested parties looking to set up a marijuana shop in DeKalb, as city staff and the council move forward to set policy for allowing dispensaries on Jan. 1.

“In the last month and a half, we’ve had four or five different entities,” Nicklas said Friday. “So I think once we can define the standards and parameters, we’ll have people approaching us for formal consideration.”

The City Council has already expressed strong support for recreational marijuana dispensaries in DeKalb, with a desire to impose a full 3% tax on sales. On Monday, the council will consider revisions to medical cannabis dispensary regulations, and begin developing a framework for local zoning and permits in the hopes that, come Jan. 1, sellers will begin eyeing DeKalb as a spot to set up shop.

* Just north of DeKalb

The Sycamore City Council is going to wait to hear public input before it makes any decisions, but several council members seemed favorable to the idea of allowing recreational marijuana sales in the city.

At Monday’s meeting, members compared sales of recreational marijuana to previous decisions the council has made on video gambling or alcohol sales in the city. First Ward Alderman Alan Bauer said that he had voted against many of those measures in town.

“What I’ve seen over those votes is we’ve properly regulated those things,” Bauer said. “Even though I was pretty pessimistic, it turned out OK. I guess I’m OK with this.” […]

Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory told the City Council Monday that there were several taxes that would benefit the city.

* Common sense prevailed in Riverside

“I read all of these horrible things that are going to happen, without a shred of evidence,” [Village President Ben Sells] said. “If you want to say it’s against my values, I personally don’t want it here, absolutely. But don’t try to bootstrap that into some kind of quasi-scientific argument that there’s support for, because there isn’t.”

* The proprietors of legalized and regulated adult use cannabis dispensaries will not interrupt your shopping experience by trying to rob you at gunpoint

A woman was attacked early Monday morning and robbed at gunpoint by two men with whom she was discussing buying drugs, police said.

The 59-year-old woman was beaten and her cash was stolen shortly after 12:30 a.m. in the 500 block of Cherry Street, according to police. She was taken to a Rockford hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police spokeswoman Christie Castillo said one of the men was armed with a gun. The amount of money stolen was not released.

* And this is only a “glitch” if you think the state shouldn’t phase-in local taxes

A drafting error in the law legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois starting in January may mean counties and towns have to wait an extra nine months before gathering their share of potential revenue bonanza.

The delay has been attributed to a drafting glitch in the municipal cannabis retailers’ occupation tax (MCROT) that will prevent municipalities from collecting taxes until Sept. 1, 2020. MCROT was a prominent feature of H.B. 1438, which made Illinois the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Even so, a change is probably coming during veto session.

…Adding… Crain’s

As Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration makes its first moves into regulating the recreational marijuana industry, it is releasing guidelines on where the new businesses can locate—and they’re all outside the city’s central business district.

The state will grant as many as 91 licenses to Chicago sellers, which will be divided among seven zones in the city. Initially, no zone will be allowed to have more than seven locations. Eventually, that number will climb to 14. […]

The central business district exclusion area will include Oak Street to the north, Lake Michigan to the east and Ida B. Wells Drive to the south, with the western boundary being LaSalle Street in River North and the Chicago River in the Loop. Lightfoot will introduce the restrictions at tomorrow’s City Council meeting.

“The frame of this is to really focus on equity and making sure we use an equity lens as this industry grows,” Mayekar said, adding that the city’s regulations nudge market outcomes but do not force them. “I think this is a pretty nuanced regulation that takes into account the demand of the market. The real design principle here is to ensure we don’t have over-saturation in a particular zone. . . .The seven zones were created in a way that they have more or less the same population. The goal is to have equal distribution per capita of dispensaries.”


  1. - DuPage - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    Have they come up with objective definitions/tests on how much is too much to drive?

  2. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Mayor Lightfoot did a nice op-ed piece on Chicago legalization that’s in today’s Sun-Times. Very encouraging.

  3. - Dotnonymous - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Cannabis is not remotely similar to…or comparable with alcohol.

    Alcohol is a toxic substance that causes intoxication when consumed.

    Cannabis is non-toxic.

  4. - Maryjane - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    As always, I’m happy with any progress. I understand that nothing is perfect.

    However I believe that any public event that pushes alcohol, any street (like one near me) with… any number of bars/pubs and liquor stores (which I’m fine with but have no use for personally) can deal with legal Cannabis sales and use in the same place. Replacing prohibition with a stupid blue-laws will only create scofflaws. An important lesson from the failure of alcohol prohibition clearly not well understood at present. I’m glad mayor Lightfoot is warning le not to shake people down, but I’m concerned that shes allowing the same sort of traps to manifest that only will likely encourage the le activity she proscribes.

  5. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 5:34 pm:

    With the exclusion of the Central Business District I wonder what type of cannabis tourism business Chicago will see since that seems to exclude dispensaries from where most tourists will be.

  6. - striketoo - Tuesday, Sep 17, 19 @ 8:34 pm:

    Hundreds of thousands of suburban commuters and tourists enter the central business district everyday and are potential customers for recreational pot. The mayor has decided she doesn’t want the millions in potential revenue this represents. Shaking my head.

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