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The Bears Lose. Cannabis Wins?

The Bears Lose. Cannabis Wins?

Okay, Bears fans, this wasn’t your best weekend. Let’s talk about Chicago for a second.

This past summer, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that will make Illinois the 20th state to allow medical marijuana use beginning January 1, 2014. It establishes a four-year pilot program that will allow patients suffering with one of 42 named illnesses to be prescribed marijuana for treatment and pain management. The permitted “dosage” maxes out at 2.5 ounces per two week.

The state law, while something worth celebrating, is apparently the nation’s toughest yet. Only 22 growing centers are permitted, and they are prohibited from opening within 2,500 feet of a school, day care center, or residential area. The maximum number of dispensaries caps at 60, and these are banned from opening in a private home, residential area, or within 1,000 feet of a school or day care center.

Of course it can’t be that easy, though. According to the Sun-Times and the Tribune, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Edward Burke and the city’s Department of Planning and Development think more rules are needed! They introduced a plan last week to further limit where dispensaries and growing operations can set up shop in the city. This proposal includes the following restrictions:

Dispensaries and “cultivation centers” must be located in manufacturing districts.

Parking spaces at dispensaries and “cultivation centers” would be limited depending on the size of the facility.

Special-use permits from Chicago’s Zoning Board of Appeals would be required, allowing residents to object.

Come on, Chicago. We know you’re upset about the Bears, but really? Sounds like a lot of restrictions. But still, baby steps…we’ll take it.


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