Buffalo Grove seeking policy change on recreational pot sales

The Buffalo Grove village board plans to urge the governor's office to remove roadblocks preventing a medical marijuana dispensary in town from adding recreational marijuana to its offerings.

Trustee Joanne Johnson is drafting a letter making the request, which likely will receive full board approval at the panel's Dec. 7 meeting.

Cresco Labs, which sells medical marijuana at its Sunnyside dispensary at 830 N. Milwaukee Ave., moved from its previous Buffalo Grove location at 1623 Barclay Blvd. so it could expand into recreational marijuana.

However, because of a quirk in Illinois law as interpreted by the governor's office, medical dispensaries moving to a new location, even within the same village, lose the right to sell recreational marijuana and must obtain new state approval.

Village officials were hoping that the legislature would end that policy during the fall veto session, but the session was canceled.

"We supported (Gov. J.B.) Pritzker's recreational cannabis initiative in its early days, amidst intense pressure from protest groups and other municipalities. Where is the governor now?" Johnson said.

"This is ridiculous. We lost out on at least half a million dollars in revenue, and imagine what the state has lost out on."

Trustee Gregory Pike noted that other suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Schaumburg and Naperville, have been allowed to open new recreational marijuana dispensaries that won local approval more than six months later than Sunnyside.

State Rep. Daniel Didech said he hopes that the issue can be addressed in January.

"This is not what the legislature intended, the way that (Pritzker) is interpreting the state law," he said. "It was certainly our intent that it would be interpreted that if you want to move within the bounds of a single village, that was something that would be permitted."

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