Local News

CBS News Live

CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council on Wednesday approved a plan to give downtown aldermen more control over where marijuana dispensaries can open in their ward. 

The measure would require dispensaries seeking to open in the area bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, Division Street to the north, Halsted Street to the west and Roosevelt Road to the south to get zoning changes approved by the City Council, rather than the current process of getting approval from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. 

The ordinance also would allow dispensaries opening downtown to be located within 500 feet of a school, unlike in the rest of the city. 

Ald. Bill Conway (34th), who sponsored the proposal, said the aldermen representing downtown know their wards better than the zoning board, and the measure would give them more control over where marijuana businesses could open downtown. 

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) has argued the zoning board often makes bad decisions on whether or not to allow dispensaries to open. 

Supporters of the ordinance also have argued it will reduce the time and money it takes to open marijuana dispensaries downtown by having the approval process go through City Council rather than the zoning board. 

More from CBS News

Chicago City Council

Featured Local Savings

“]]   Read More