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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

City's Revocation of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Approval Overturned

In 2013, Illinois passed a law legalizing medical marijuana but that didn’t translate to immediate sales of medical marijuana. That's because Illinois law mandates that dispensaries only sell marijuana grown in Illinois at licensed cultivation centers. Crops take time, and the first of those marijuana crops are just now being cultivated for sale in licensed dispensaries. 

That delay nearly cost a licensed dispensary in Peoria the right to open its business. In 2014, the City granted a zoning certificate to a licensed dispensary. A year later, the City revoked its previous approval based on its reading of the City Code that the dispensary’s zoning certificate had expired because the business did not open within one year. The dispensary appealed to the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals. The City defended its decision by arguing that the certificate expired by its own terms on September 14, 2015, when the dispensary did not open for business.  According to the City Attorney (arguing on the City's behalf), “It’s tough to be a marijuana dispensary if you have no marijuana.” 

The ZBA rejected the City’s argument and reversed its decision to revoke the zoning certificate last week. The ZBA based its ruling in part on the fact that the dispensary could not have opened because there was no product to sell, through no fault of the dispensary. According to news reports, the dispensary is set to open in early December.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

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