Legal recreational marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1 in Chicago after City Council ordinance fails

CHICAGO -- The Chicago City Council voted down on Wednesday, Dec. 18 an ordinance to delay recreational marijuana sales until the summer, WGN reports.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Chicago at the same time as the rest of the state on Jan.1, 2020.

A council committee endorsed an aldermanic Black Caucus proposal to delay those sales until July, instead of in just two weeks. The caucus said it wants to ensure that minorities have a fair shot at securing dispensary licenses.

In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed understanding but argued the delay would only fuel illegal sales. Her office vowed to work with social equity applicants to improve representation within the industry.

The City Council voted to defeat the proposal following an intense and often heated debate Wednesday morning.