When marijuana sales become legal next year, recreational dispensaries would be blocked from opening in most of downtown Chicago.  Dispensaries would be prohibited from locating in a downtown “exclusion zone” in most of the Loop and Magnificent Mile, under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed zoning rules.

Chicago would be divvied up into seven zones for recreational marijuana dispensaries. Allowing each zone up to seven dispensaries, with an increase to 14 in May.

Brendan Reilly, whose 42nd Ward includes much of downtown, said he wants to see the mayor’s proposal changed to allow “some limited number of dispensaries to be in the central core where the bulk of our commuters work and our visitors and tourists spend their time and money.” This would allow Chicago to see as much cash as possible. 

City rules would prevent dispensaries from opening within 500 feet of a school. Recreational marijuana sales would be prohibited in residential zoning districts or in any building that contains a residential unit, the mayor’s office said. The public use of cannabis products in public and by people under age 21, would comply with state law and be prohibited as well. 

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