Stewart J. Weiss

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP

Stewart J. Weiss

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP


About Stew Weiss

Stew Weiss counsels municipalities on land use, government regulations, and contract matters. He serves as Corporation Counsel for the City of Waukegan and Assistant Village Attorney for the Village of Northbrook and the Village of Glencoe. 

Stew focuses on minimizing risk and establishing internal best practices, while providing clients with the flexibility to respond to external opportunities and challenges. He has assisted the Firm’s local government clients in the negotiation, drafting, and implementation of redevelopment and subdivision agreements, tax incentive and sales tax rebate agreements, and annexation agreements. Mr. Weiss has guided cities and villages through the rewrites of their business licensing, building code, zoning, and subdivision regulations. He has extensive experience in both public contracting and development incentives, and serves as counsel to village boards of trustees, city councils, zoning boards, plan commissions, and electoral boards.

With deep knowledge of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, he has advised communities and businesses across the state on the regulation and licensing of the cannabis industry.

Stew also counsels public sector clients on issues associated with cybersecurity and data protection, including breach response, notification requirements, risk management, and third-party vendor matters.

Stew dedicates his pro bono practice to organizations that link the well-being of communities to open space and urban agriculture. He serves as pro bono counsel to NeighborSpace, a not-for-profit landbank that maintains over 115 community gardens in the City of Chicago. Stew is also a member of the Board of Directors for Growing Home, a jobs training program in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood dedicated to providing essential life skills to persons with barriers to the job market through urban farming.

Chambers USA 2021 placed Stew in the Associates to Watch tier in Illinois, and included the following observation:

Stew “has a sophisticated approach, provides in-depth knowledge and has an expert ability to translate complex issues.  He provides perspective, alternatives and likely outcomes of varying scenarios; he is tremendously helpful.”


  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, J.D. Cum Laude
  • Claremont McKenna College, Cum Laude
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Chicago Bar Association – Local Government Committee Chair (2014-2015), Vice Chair (2014-2013), Legislative Liaison (2012-2013)
  • Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers guide, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, Associates to Watch, 2021


  • Best Practices for Public Participation in Virtual Public Meetings and Public Hearings | Elrod Friedman Client Alert | April 2020
  • An Analysis of Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order from a Local Government Perspective | Elrod Friedman Client Alert | March 2020
  • Illinois Legislature Legalizes Recreational Marijuana | An Overview of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, Holland & Knight Client Alert | May 2019
  • Missouri v Seibert – Two-Stepping Towards the Apocalypse | Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (2005)

Speaking Engagements

  • Zoning for Data Centers and Cryptocurrency Mining – APA Illinois Chapter, October 2022
  • Cannabis Zoning Principles – Coffee & Cannabis, presented by Redmond Construction, March 2022
  • Cannabis in Illinois: Trends, Developments, and Opportunities – ULI Chicago’s Front Stoop Series, November 2021
  • Mitigating Cyber-Security Risk in Public Contracting – Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee – April, 2021
  • Affordable Housing in the Chicago Metropolitan Area – Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee Annual Seminar – June, 2020
  • CEJA and Local Opportunities for Clean Energy – Chicago Bar Association Local Government Annual Seminar – February, 2020
  • Cannabis Enforcement Basics for Law Enforcement, Client Roundtable – January, 2020
  • Standing on the Precipice of Legalization: The State of Local Authority under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Local Government Law Institute – December, 2019
  • Local Licensing and Zoning Regulation of Cannabis Businesses – Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference – September, 2019
  • Recreational Cannabis Legalization, Northwest Municipal Conference – January 2019, DuPage Mayors and Managers Association – February 2019, Illinois Municipal League – April, 2019

Community Service

  • Growing Home – President, Board of Directors
  • Domestic Violence Legal Clinic – Volunteer Attorney
  • Bowmanville Community Organization – Zoning Committee

Representative Matters

  • Negotiated Development & Host Community Agreement and Ground Lease for $500 million casino and entertainment complex on behalf of City of Waukegan
  • Obtained special use approval from the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals for approximately 10,000 square foot cannabis infusing facility in the West Loop.

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