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updated: 4/7/2014 4:31 PM

Hanover Park to limit medical marijuana dispensaries

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  • Hanover Park trustees have instructed staff to prepare zoning ordinances that limit medical marijuana dispensaries to industrial areas.

      Hanover Park trustees have instructed staff to prepare zoning ordinances that limit medical marijuana dispensaries to industrial areas.
    Associated Press File Photo


Hanover Park officials plan to bar medical marijuana sellers from strip malls.

Village trustees have directed staff to prepare zoning ordinances that limit dispensaries to stand-alone buildings in industrial areas, away from retailers and restaurants. Officials also are poised to ban drive-throughs and the sale of drug paraphernalia in medical marijuana shops.

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Trustees supported those rules against more lenient recommendations by the village's development commission. That panel wanted to treat dispensaries like pharmacies and allow them to open next to other businesses.

But trustees favored a conservative approach as they navigate Illinois' first medical marijuana law and prepare to lift a villagewide moratorium in late June.

"I'm pleased that we're moving ahead slowly," Mayor Rodney Craig said.

Officials say restricting dispensaries to industrial parts of town poses no inconvenience for patients.

"Our thought is Hanover Park is narrow enough (that) somebody who needs this is not going to have to drive way out of their way in order to get to the location in the industrial areas," Village Manager Juliana Maller said.

The board agreed on most of the proposed zoning rules. Trustee Bill Cannon, though, argued drive-throughs would better serve patients in poor health.

Under state law -- effective in January -- patients with certain illnesses like cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis can buy the drug in limited amounts from dispensaries. Illinois allows 22 medical marijuana cultivators, or one in each state police district, and 60 sellers.

The village adopted a six-month moratorium last August and renewed it in January while state officials iron out the implementation of the four-year pilot program.

As for medical marijuana producers, officials say the state's parameters confine growers to a small radius in the village where an existing business stands.

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