Powerful Alderman Pushes for Medical Marijuana in Loop

The measure looks to change zoning regulations in the Loop to allow for medical marijuana dispensaries.

An ordinance proposed by Ald. Ed Burke that looks to change zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in Chicago’s Loop cleared a City Council committee Tuesday.

The Loop is organized into four separate zoning districts. Medical marijuana dispensaries are currently allowed in the Mixed-Use and Service districts.

Dispensaries are not allowed in the Downtown Core or the Residential districts. Burke’s ordinance looks to open up the Common Core District to medical marijuana dispensaries. The district includes high-rises, stores, civic buildings and some hospitals.

“For the sake of consistency, we would allow it there,” Burke spokesman Donal Quinlan told Ward Room. “It’s going to be subject to special use provision.”

Quinlan also said it makes sense to have a dispensary in an area with medical buildings.

Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose ward encompasses most of the Loop, also supports the ordinance.

The full City Council will vote on the measure May 18.

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