Chicago mayor proposes zoning rule limiting pot dispensaries


AP Photo/Jim Young

Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot speaks during her inauguration ceremony Monday, May 20, 2019, in Chicago.

When the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal, Chicago’s mayor wants its sale banned in the central business district, near schools and in residential areas.

The bans are in zoning rules proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. However, Alderman Brendan Reilly, who represents the business district in the City Council, says because of an $838 million budget gap Chicago can’t afford to declare its central business district off-limits. He says a limited number of downtown dispensaries are needed.

Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar says a downtown “exclusion zone” is justified because of its high density of business and tourists.

Under the proposed rules, recreational marijuana use in Chicago would be banned entirely for anyone under the age of 21. However, licensed medical dispensaries would be permitted to sell marijuana for recreational use.