Cannabis lounge proposal fails to reach City Council


Graphic by Roxanne Panas

City Council approved a special use permit for a bakery and cannabis dispensary development in Evanston.

Casey He, Assistant City Editor

Members of City Council on the Planning and Development Committee voted Monday against moving forward with a proposal to allow for cannabis consumption lounges in Evanston.

During Monday’s meeting, Ald. Devon Reid (8th), who made the referral for the proposal, said allowing cannabis lounges in the city is an equity issue. The lounges would allow residents who live in non-smoking properties to consume cannabis legally.

“If you live in an apartment building, in many leases (cannabis use) is against the rules,” Reid said. 

Other councilmembers, however, expressed concerns with the proposal.

During Monday’s meeting, Ald. Clare Kelly (1st) said her main concern with the proposal is the working conditions for staff who will be working in the lounges. 

“I’m not going to accept because people have chosen to work there,” Kelly said. “I need more assurances with regard to protecting the air quality for the workers.”

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) said in addition to health and air quality concerns, cannabis lounges do not fit with the “lively and warm and welcoming” image of the city.

The committee voted 4-2 against sending the proposal to the whole council, with Reid and Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) voting in favor of moving forward. 

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