Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » A completely useless “debate”
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
A completely useless “debate”

Friday, Dec 20, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I updated yesterday’s post with this story, but I want to circle back to it today

The chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus threatened Thursday to try again to delay recreational marijuana sales in Chicago for six months after accusing Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office of backing off from a commitment made to African American aldermen demanding a piece of the pie.

Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said “seven or eight” black and Hispanic aldermen voted against a six-month delay based on the promise they were told the governor’s office made to earmark two medical marijuana dispensary licenses — in Hyde Park and Chinatown — for social equity applicants. […]

Hours after a divided City Council voted to let recreational marijuana sales begin as scheduled Jan. 1, the governor’s office disavowed any such guarantees about the two new licenses. […]

On Thursday, Ervin accused the governor’s office of backing away from a commitment made to the Black Caucus during marathon negotiations brokered by aides to Mayor Lori Lightfoot that continued up until and during the tension-filled City Council meeting Wednesday.

“The governor’s office … made commitments for two medicinal social equity licenses — one in the Hyde Park area, one in the Chinatown area — relayed to us by the mayor and her staff. They [said] they had to adjust some rules or do something to make that happen,” Ervin said.

This is just so ridiculously ill-informed by so many people on so many levels.

* First of all, the state created several medical cannabis dispensary licenses years ago. But not all of them were awarded. This year, a law was passed to apply social equity requirements to the owners of the not yet awarded licenses. But before that happened, way back on May 20th in 2014, the state published some new rules that specified the locations of those dispensaries. Among those newly specified locations back in May were these

Hyde Park Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated two registrations. […]

South Township shall be a Dispensing Organization District and shall be allocated one registration.

That South Township location contains Chinatown. One of the Hyde Park registrations is already taken.

…Adding… My bad. This rule with the locations was actually first adopted in July of 2014.

I don’t know if the mayor and her people messed up by claiming that these dispensaries were part of some “new” offer by the governor, or if the aldermen misunderstood the mayor, or what. But those locations have existed in state rules for seven months.

* Aaron Gettinger at the Hyde Park Herald

Currently, there are five more medical dispensary licenses available in Illinois. The state authorized 60 medical dispensaries under administrative rules and established districts with a set number of licenses available to geographically disperse them.

Districts in Chicago are organized by townships. Two dispensaries are allowed in Hyde Park Township, and one is authorized in South Township, which includes Chinatown. One medical dispensary, Mission Chicago South Shore Medical Marijuana Dispensary, 8554 S. Commercial Ave., exists in Hyde Park Township; there are none in South Township.

Revisions made to the Medical Cannabis Act in the spring added social equity standards to the medical cannabis program, but rulemaking is required to incorporate them into the application process. Abudayyeh says the rulemaking process is going on now.

“The state is working to finalize social equity standards for the remaining medical licenses and has to work through the rule-making process to get that done,” she said in a statement. “When the rules are approved, applications for the remaining medical licenses will be opened for applicants, and we will follow the application process to award those licenses.”

On Dec. 18, Ald. Jason C. Ervin (28th), who chairs the Black Caucus, said in an interview that he had not reviewed all the nuances of the administration’s plan, “but in principle, that is what was agreed to.”

Wait a second. On Wednesday, December 18th, Ald. Ervin was shown the actual facts and said it was what he had agreed to. But on Thursday Ervin threatened to bring his implementation delay ordinance back to the council floor.

This really makes it look like Ald. Ervin is up to something completely separate from minority involvement in the cannabis industry.

       

37 Comments
  1. - Steve - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    No matter how you feel about this issue, it’s a positive development that some democracy has emerged at Chicago’s City Council. Yeah, it’s messy : but all sides do deserve some praise.


  2. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Wow, that’s pretty pathetic, threatening to bring up the delay again after it was already defeated. This is so divisive and counterproductive. There will be plenty of business for everybody, and many more licenses are coming. Very disappointing.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    === This really makes it look like Ald. Ervin is up to something completely separate from minority involvement in the cannabis industry.===

    This. It seems like a comedy of errors and red herrings so Ervin doesn’t “look” like his ask is only for him.


  4. - Anoni - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    City Council members look completely foolish for clearly paying zero attention to actual YEARS of debate around this legislation — even if you just followed the last few weeks of spring session, you would some basic understanding of how the law works, and what was going on with the medicinal licenses.
    You can pretend to be a policy maker and not even try to research the actual policy. It’s been available to you for a long time, there is no excuse.


  5. - Jocko - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    Ald. Ervin forgot the maxim “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

    What did he hope would be accomplished in six months, other than giving the suburbs a head start?


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    === it’s a positive development that some democracy…===

    It’s a positive development that an alderman is wholly ignorant on an issue which led to a useless debate?

    === but all sides===

    Yeah, no… No.

    Honesty to the facts… then there wouldn’t have been a debate.

    (Sigh)


  7. - Boomerang - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    Ald. Ervin is no fool. So Rich’s question is very relevant. Like a lot of “behind the scenes” deals (i.e. the Rockford Casino), we may find out one day what this debate was truly about.


  8. - Sonny - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    In five months when there are 75 white male owned rec weed licenses, all the people put out by Alderman Ervin please tell me more about how this is the fairest, bestest legislation ever.


  9. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    It is hard to believe any of the self serving statements by the blockaders.

    The law is the law and there are enough monied minorities who could pool resources to get in to these businesses. It’s just a ploy to send money to themselves and their buddies.


  10. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    What about the poor consumers (lol h/t Trib editorial board), many of whom are African-American? Who is thinking about them? They’d have to keep getting marijuana illegally until July 2020 while in every other part of the state where it’s allowed, consumers will start buying legally much sooner. A big part of social equity reform is ending criminalization for small amounts, but keeping marijuana in the black market prolongs the problem.


  11. - T. Fitz - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    == Ald. Ervin is up to something completely separate from minority involvement ==

    It could be he’s laying the groundwork for his wife’s mayoral campaign or it could be he is genuinely concerned with minority involvement — only he wants more influence on exactly who the minority owners are. There’s a City Hall vs. Springfield battle between African-American alderman and legislators at play here. The aldermen believe they call the shots, not the “junior varsity” in Springfield. And some alderman think the legislators have greased the skids to enable their friends to corner the market. I don’t think there’s any evidence of that, but one could see how Senator Van Pelt’s activities could fuel that mindset.


  12. - Ebenezer - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    The way local officials get so invested in the allocation of specific business licenses is an invitation to corruption, backroom deals and bad outcomes.

    Oregon legalized cannabis a few years ago. The list of licensed retailers is 23 pages long in a state with 4.1MM people. Life goes on much as before.

    Meet the criteria? You get a license. Let God and the market sort’em out.


  13. - sulla - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    “Meet the criteria? You get a license. Let God and the market sort’em out.”

    This. So much this.


  14. - Sonny - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    This “business” is responsible for the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people and ruined the lives of people disproportionately from marginalized community. Let god sort it out us fine for sandwich shops but this is a little different beast If you take two seconds to think about it but thanks for playing.


  15. - Powdered Whig - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    === In five months when there are 75 white male owned rec weed licenses, all the people put out by Alderman Ervin please tell me more about how this is the fairest, bestest legislation ever. ===

    You literally have no factual support for that statement.


  16. - A State Employee Guy - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    “ This really makes it look like Ald. Ervin is up to something completely separate from minority involvement in the cannabis industry.”

    Yikes. Easy with the thinly veiled, unsubstantiated accusations there, Rich.


  17. - Powdered Whig - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    === This “business” is responsible for the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of people and ruined the lives of people disproportionately from marginalized community. Let god sort it out us fine for sandwich shops but this is a little different beast If you take two seconds to think about it but thanks for playing. ===

    The existing state law addresses that issue. And BTW, did you miss the story about Kim Foxx personally filing the motions to start expunging cannibis-related criminal records?


  18. - Powdered Whig - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    === Yikes. Easy with the thinly veiled, unsubstantiated accusations there, Rich. ===

    I tend to agree with Rich. His arguments make no sense if you actually take a look at the law. When things don’t make sense, you begin to wonder about funny business.


  19. - Groucho - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    The entire roll out of cannabis is questionable. I presume that most people believe pot is no greater a problem to our society than alcohol. Yet we treat it’s distribution and licensing like like we are dealing with plutonium. Why not distribute like alcohol? Any business should be able to apply for a license to sell pot, just like beer, wine, whiskey. The legislators in this country/state can’t help but stick their grubby little paws into this.


  20. - Chicagonk - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    @Sonny - Exactly. I have no problem with Ervin making a stink about this. I’m sure he knew the outcome wouldn’t change, but the sponsors wanting pats on the back for how progressive this bill is need a reality check.


  21. - levivotedforjudy - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    This whole protest just seems off. You need the approved companies to start to provide the money for the social equity fund, so delaying the start makes no sense. And….man I wish Ervin would have been this upset when the IL Small Business Development Center Network was decimated over the past 4 years.


  22. - @misterjayem - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    This really makes it look like Ald. Ervin is up to something completely separate from minority involvement in the cannabis industry.

    This statement of opinion about a public figure does not constitute defamation under Illinois law.

    – MrJM


  23. - McKinley Bob - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    === Why not distribute like alcohol? Any business should be able to apply for a license to sell pot, just like beer, wine, whiskey.===

    Part of the issue is a massive black market exist funneling legally grown cannabis to states where it remains illegal. If it were uniformly legal across all states this more lax model may work.


  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===but the sponsors wanting pats on the back for how progressive this bill is need a reality check===

    There is precisely one African-American license-holder in the entire country. So what are you basing that on?


  25. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===Yikes. Easy with the===

    Get your own blog.


  26. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    =the sponsors wanting pats on the back for how progressive this bill is need a reality check.=

    I’m not sure who exactly you’re referring to. But the issue at hand seems to be that Ervin is demanding things that are already addressed in the existing legislation and his “understanding” of this changes from day to day.


  27. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    This is the most if not only social equity based marijuana legalization in the country. How about everybody working within the law’s confines, and pushing for further changes in a less disruptive manner, without delay threats? A GA session is coming soon.


  28. - BC - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    == It’s a positive development that some democracy has emerged at Chicago’s City Council. ==

    Without aldermanic prerogative, the aldermen will stop behaving like mini-mayors of their ward and start behaving more like legislators. We saw some of that this week.


  29. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    =I’m not a lawyer and even I know that is a misstatement of the law, Mr. J M=

    Ervin acknowledges the facts on Wednesday and discards them on Thursday and you don’t think that’s a bit odd?


  30. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    Pundent, forget it. Dude hates cannabis so much he’d agree with the Devil himself if need be.


  31. - Lodestar - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 12:58 pm:

    We may know more about Jason Ervin’s motives when campaign disclosures are filed next month.

    Everyone is discounting how the politics on the west side differ from everywhere else. In any case if this is a mayoral run setup for Melissa Conyears-Ervin then 2023 is going to hilarious. I’m going to get my popcorn ready…


  32. - SSL - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Chicago politics at its finest. A big new initiative needs to be rolled out and everybody has a hand out wanting a piece of the action. You can’t blame anyone, because that’s the way it has been done forever. Get it now, because you may not be able to get it later. I’ll never believe someone is doing it on behalf of someone else. This is politics plain and simple, and people have to be paid.

    The black market will be infinitely more efficient at delivering the product. It will be interesting to see the sales volume of legitimate dispensaries.


  33. - Lodestar - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    Jason Ervin needs to be reminded that Rauner implemented medical cannabis and Pritzker is building equity.


  34. - sulla - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    “Yet we treat it’s distribution and licensing like like we are dealing with plutonium.”

    Yes. Those bemoaning that the med license holders will have some supposedly-insurmountable head start over these next six months are nuts.

    These med licensees are dealing with an understaffed and confused state regulatory system that is way behind schedule and is unable to make their minds up on multiple issues. Ask any dispensary that has had to go through the inspection process about the changing requirements for camera setups, counter heights, interior signage etc.

    On top of that, the raw shortage of product already has medical customers ticked off. Go hit up the facebook pages of your nearest dispensary and read the comments. Recreational customers are going to be ticked when they wait in line for hours on Jan. 1 to find that the dispensary is out of product by 9:00AM.

    These med license holders are not being handed an instant monopoly. They’re test monkeys being shot into space to see if zero-g causes organ failure. And thank god they’re mostly well-capitalized because all of the confusion, delays and product shortages are going to cost them serious money.

    The next round of dispensaries (aka the social equity applicants) are going to reap the benefits of having a lot of these kinks worked out ahead of time.


  35. - Nick - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Seems rather straight forward to me. The city and state can’t afford to have marijuana sales delayed, not even by a month.

    Threatening that then should involve a pretty big give on the part of both the city and governors office. Classic wheeling and dealing.

    The only problem is it seems, to Pritzkers and even Lightfoots credit, they’re not playing ball.


  36. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:43 pm:

    =Classic wheeling and dealing.=

    That only works when there’s something to give and get. Ervin’s demanding things that he’s acknowledged the bill already provides.


  37. - Nick - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    I think he wanted more get, is the thing.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Question of the day
* Your moment of zen
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* There's no real mystery here
* One problem, mayor: You can't do this tax without the legislature and the governor
* Support House Bill 4781
* It’s just a bill
* Musical interlude
* Get it together, man
* Passing HB5395 Will Put Critical Healthcare Decisions In Hands Of Patients And Their Doctors, Not Insurance Companies
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Get The Facts On The Illinois Prescription Drug Board
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller