Marijuana Dispensary to Come in Champaign

By Bénédicte Yenyi Mulumba

Despite the UI campus being tobacco-free institution, a new pot dispensary might be coming near campus.

NuEra, which operates already in Urbana, Chicago, and Peoria is expanding to open in Champaign. The new location will be right next to KAMS, on 1st and Green st.

Owners say it’s a win-win situation because not only Champaign will have a new source of tax revenue, but the dispensary  can also free up space for their medical customers in both areas.

The university still prohibits the use and possession of marijuana on campus grounds. “Although the state of Illinois has legalized recreational use of marijuana for individuals 21 and older, federal prohibitions on marijuana remain in effect for all colleges and universities which receive federal funds. That means all forms of marijuana remain illegal on campus property.” states the university police on the website.

The campus grounds include all property owned, leased, occupied, operated, or controlled by the university – including classrooms, residence halls, libraries, outdoor spaces, sidewalks, and university-owned roads, among many other properties. Students code states that violations of the university’s policy on drugs by a university student raise the question of a student’s fitness to continue at the University of Illinois. And drugs include controlled substances, alcohol, and substances that may be detrimental to health, even though not subject to state and federal laws.

For students who hold any other status of residency besides U.S citizenship, USCIS issued guidance since 2019 that violations of federal law involving marijuana could affect a student’s immigration status or the naturalization process, even in cases where those actions do not violate state law.

While medical marijuana is the only one legalized throughout the state, possession of not more than 10 grams will only be guilty of civil law violation, not a crime. The person arrested will pay a fine of $100 up to $200. Urbana and Champaign have civil violation systems allowing someone issued a ticket for cannabis violations to pay before a court.

Bénie Yenyi

Bénédicte “Bénie” Yenyi Mulumba is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. She's currently a member of UI7 Live and a researcher in political science department. She was an intern at the China Post when studying abroad in Taiwan. She worked as a news reporter for the Daily Illini, as a writer for Her Campus student-magazine and as an editor for The Spectator - which is Heartland Community College’s magazine. She’s a member of the Black journalists of Illinois chapter and a member of UNICEF. Bénie is fluent in French, English, and Lingala. She’s aspiring to be an international reporter and work with international organizations.