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Article posted: 8/21/2013 5:30 AM

Medical marijuana facilities could be in Bartlett business park

By Jessica Cilella

If a medical marijuana cultivation or dispensing center comes to Bartlett next year, it will likely be located in the Brewster Creek Business Park, away from homes, schools and day care centers.

During a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, the village board discussed changes to the current zoning ordinance that would designate a zoning district, and set a regulation, for medical marijuana facilities.

Earlier this month, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill to permit the legal sale and dispensing of medical marijuana in Illinois.

The law, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, allows for 22 cultivation centers -- one for each Illinois State Police district -- and 60 dispensing centers to open throughout the state.

Because the facilities are subject to local zoning controls, local government officials have started to discuss the issue in case a facility is slated to open in their community, said community development director Jim Plonczynski.

"We felt, in discussions at the staff level, that we should look at the law, map out where these centers could possibly be located based on the language in the law, and if they were to come to Bartlett, we should have something in place that would require them to go through a review process," he said.

The proposed amendment includes definitions for medical marijuana facilities and requires cultivation and dispensing facilities to be special uses in the village's I-1 and I-2 economic development area districts.

According to the state law, cultivation centers -- indoor, climate-controlled facilities where the medical marijuana plants will be grown -- must be at least 2,500 feet from residentially zoned properties, schools and day care centers. Dispensing centers must be at least 1,000 feet away from those same places, giving them a slightly broader area.

Those requirements mean only a small portion near the middle of the Brewster Creek Business Park is eligible space for a cultivation center.

All the potential locations for a dispensing center are also in Brewster Creek, but that area spans south from West Bartlett Road to Stearns Road and east from the railroad tracks to Munger Road.

Only patients with serious illnesses or diseases, such as muscular dystrophy and lupus, will be allowed to obtain medical marijuana. They must have a long-standing relationship with a doctor and will be limited to 2.5 ounces every two weeks.

The board passed the issue along to the village's zoning board of appeals for a public hearing.

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