420 with CNW – Chicago Mayor Wants Marijuana Consumption Allowed in Some Public Places

December 26, 2019 04:20:19

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a proposed ordinance that would allow licensing of marijuana consumption sites that are safe and legal. This is an effort by the mayor’s office to expand the economic opportunities presented by the ever-growing marijuana industry across the city of Chicago by bringing in more entrepreneurs.

Illinois lawmakers approved the bill legalizing recreational marijuana which was later signed into law by the Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker. Adult-use marijuana will be legal in Chicago as from January 1.

In a public statement, Lightfoot said that the city of Chicago is preparing for legalization ahead of the launch date by working together with the state to make sure that legalization will be implemented in a safe, responsible way and that it offers optimal opportunities for the residents of Chicago as well as businesses. The legalization of adult-use marijuana will provide a chance for more entrepreneurs to participate in the marijuana industry including those who have been affected by the war against drugs. The bill will also present the people of Chicago with safe marijuana consumption sites.

According to the proposal introduced by the Mayor, businesses operating specialty cigar outlets, such as cigar shops or hookah lounges, would be eligible to apply for marijuana consumption site permits. The consumption sites licenses allowing people to use marijuana on the premises would be issued by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). The consumption permits would be granted to businesses deriving at least 80 percent of their proceeds from tobacco-based products.

The BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno said that entrepreneurs looking to venture in the new business of adult-use marijuana consumption sites have an opportunity to participate through the Chicago consumption licensing program which has a robust regulatory system. Escareno further said that they are excited to be taking the first step in developing regulations that provide entrepreneurs with more economic opportunities while ensuring that the public has safe places where they can use cannabis responsibly.

The specialty tobacco businesses must fulfill several requirements before they can be issued with permits. For example, they must be in a standalone structure that is well ventilated. The companies must also establish a safety plan that is approved by the city, and also educate their staff on safe marijuana consumption. The business owners must also note that businesses located in areas that are excluded from conducting marijuana business, which covers the greatest section of the downtown area and Magnificent Mile, would not be granted licenses.

The businesses authorized for onsite marijuana consumption are not allowed to serve alcohol, and the customers are also not allowed to bring their own. The companies are to be located at a minimum distance of 500 feet from schools and other outlets licensed for marijuana consumption.

The proposed ordinance would make sure that small businesses benefit from the legal marijuana industry, said the executive director of Chicago NORML, Edie Moore.

In the coming year, Lightfoot’s administration is expected to develop a new proposal that would issue onsite consumption licenses to licensed marijuana dispensaries.

Industry watchers believe that it is this type of progressive policy making that many marijuana companies, such as VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) and MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC), would like to see because it is strange tosee that people can buy weed in many jurisdictions but they aren’t allowed to consume it anywhere else apart from within the privacy of their homes.

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