The Chicago, Illinois City Council is considering a proposal that would allow only businesses that hold a state issued cannabis license to sell hemp-derived cannabis products that contain THC, including delta-8, delta-10, and THC-O, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Businesses without cannabis licenses would still be allowed to sell hemp products with negligible amounts of delta-9, but would not be allowed to advertise the sale of THC, use images associated with cannabis, or call themselves dispensaries.
Second Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said the ordinance is needed to address “a public health crisis” that has emerged as the sales of the unregulated products become more popular.
“We have to act immediately, and this problem has a fairly clear sequence of steps that need to be taken. These are businesses, they’re not drug dealers that can hide in the shadows. They’re storefronts, and it’s happening in plain sight.” — Hopkins to the Sun-Times
Under the proposal, each ordinance violation would result in a fine of up to $5,000 and could result in the suspension or revocation of an establishment’s city-issued business license. Chicago police would also be permitted to seize products.
State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D), who sponsored a bill to regulate delta-8 products statewide, said Hopkins’ plan would lead to the loss of jobs and create an illicit market for hemp-derived THC products. Ford’s bill to regulate the products fell short in the state Legislature.
“The city of Chicago should not be banning and eliminating tax revenue,” he told the Sun-Times in response to Hopkins’ proposal. “They are right now in a situation where they need as much revenue as possible. My goal is to regulate it and make it safe.”
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