The same week the State of Illinois OK’d medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, the Naperville Liquor Commission sent the owner of a small chain of stores that sell hemp products , through the gauntlet and then out of town, when he requested to open a store in Naperville.
If you want a license to sell liquor in Naperville, it’s no problem. Naperville’s motto should be “You want liquor, we’ve got the licenses”. Simply get in line, pay the liquor license fee, and be on your way. There is no limit on the number of liquor licenses Naperville can issue. Every time somebody wants a liquor license, the Naperville city council raises the limit by one. Just as Rome was built one brick at a time, Naperville’s tax base gets built one liquor license at a time.
If you want to increase the number of servings a brewery can offer, no problem. Just pop-in to a Naperville Liquor Commission meeting, state your case as Solemn Oath Brewery did, get the approval, and be on your way. Who’s next in line?
In fairness to Solemn Oath Brewery, their case presented by President John Barley made sense. If for no other reason, with the name John Barley, that in itself should qualify for liquor license approval; almost as good as Benny Budweiser. In time Naperville could have a thousand liquor licenses, why not, all it takes is one license at a time.
However, the Naperville Liquor Commission draws a hard line against approving a cannabinoid store at Washington St. and Chicago Avenue. The problem is not the location, it’s the idea that anything involved with hemp must be bad. Not surprisingly, one liquor commissioner voting in favor of the store was Pamela Davis, retired President and CEO of Edward Hospital. If anyone on the liquor commission would know the fallacies, safety, and usefulness of cannabinoids, including a natural source of reducing anxiety and pain, it would be the person in charge one of the best hospitals in the Midwest. However her vote was steam-rolled by the commission.
CBD has some benefit for two rare and severe seizure disorders. Additionally, other forms of CBD have shown preliminary evidence for some conditions including multiple sclerosis pain, psychotic symptoms in Parkinson’s, and anxiety. Though the findings are limited in studies, numerous personal accounts, though anecdotal in nature, are promising.
In essence the Naperville Liquor Commission is picking winners (liquor licenses) and losers (CBD providers) based on fear of the unknown (lack of knowledge) about the benefits of cannabinoids. As the owner (David Palatnik) of the chain of CBD stores stated, “we sell the same items as Menard’s, Target, Walgreen and Walmart. I think it’s unfair to small business”.
There was a time, not that long ago, when Naperville was on the cutting edge of new ideas and concepts, however now, as evidenced by the liquor commission vote, a dinosaur mentality exists among city officials. Picking winners and losers is not part of their job description.