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Article updated: 6/11/2013 3:37 PM

Mundelein eyeing zoning rules for marijuana centers

Holly Kim

Holly Kim

 
Terri Voss

Terri Voss

 
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With a bill legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, Mundelein officials are taking steps to regulate where such shops can open.

The village board on Monday agreed to direct the town's planning and zoning commission to schedule a public hearing about whether marijuana centers should be limited to specific business districts.

The hearing would be held only if Quinn signs the bill.

"(We) want to address this head on," Trustee Holly Kim told the Daily Herald on Tuesday.

Patients suffering from cancer, HIV and other painful diseases have said marijuana use eases the symptoms.

The legislation, dubbed a pilot program, would limit qualified patients to possessing 2 ounces of marijuana during a 14-day period. Patients and their primary caregivers would have to register with the state public health department and get special ID cards.

Growers and dispensaries would be licensed by the state agriculture department. Purchases would be taxed.

The proposal allows 22 growers and 60 dispensaries, one each per state senate district.

The legislation doesn't legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Municipal leaders would not be able to prevent a production facility or a dispensary from opening, but they could control where such businesses open through zoning rules.

Trustees in Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Grayslake and Wauconda are among those who have discussed zoning restrictions for marijuana dispensaries.

Mundelein Trustee Terri Voss thinks that makes sense.

"Like every business, we look at where businesses belong," Voss said. "We don't want a Target in the middle of our industrial zone. In my mind, this is no different."

Kim doesn't want such a store operating in the village's developing downtown business district. Establishing zoning regulations would save potential entrepreneurs and village officials time, she said.

Trustees haven't been notified of any interest in opening a dispensary, Voss said.

"We're just trying to make sure we plan for it," she said.

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