Stringent rules in Illinois’ recently finalized medical marijuana laws can make it difficult for business owners to find locations to set up shop. With only 21 cultivation permits up for grabs, aspiring growers are eagerly moving from town to town, shaking hands in hopes of finding a place to call their cultivation centers home. While large communities such as Chicago will struggle to find an area accepted by zoning laws and residents, smaller – and shrinking – municipalities are welcoming the idea.
50 potential jobs and thousands of dollars for local schools is an unusual offer for many Illinois communities, and it may be one that just can’t be passed up. Many city councils are considering marijuana zoning ordinances and special use permits. Entrepreneurs are having no problem bypassing cities with no interest in such proposals. Aspiring marijuana producers who include plans to give back to the local community, in addition to complying with local zoning rules, will stand out from their competitors.
For companies interested in working with city governments, Quantum 9 CEO Michael Mayes suggests starting with a conversation over the phone, with the ultimate goal of garnering a letter of recommendation to the state of Illinois. However, many companies considering competing for permits have already begun filing paperwork, and some say that if you don’t already have property, local support and a special use permit, you’ll be showing up to the race far behind. Those who are looking at cultivating in Illinois are serious players with serious money, but it is still unclear how many groups will be competing for permits and what areas of the state will see applications.