Outdoor concert with marijuana? Mundelein weighs dispensary's proposal to hold at least one

The company behind Mundelein's lone cannabis dispensary is planning an outdoor music concert or series at which public consumption of the drug would be permitted.

Cannabis sales, however, would be limited to the Rise dispensary itself, a representative said.

The village board informally discussed the proposal at its meeting Monday night. Brendan Blume, vice president of store development for Green Thumb Industries, Rise's parent company, shared some information and answered questions.

Events would be staged in the parking lot across the street from Rise, 1325 Armour Blvd. Possible concert dates weren't revealed, nor were possible performers.

"This is still in discussion," Village Administrator Eric Guenther said. "There's still some planning that needs to be done."

The proposal came to the board Monday because a new type of liquor license would be needed for such an event, Guenther said.

Additionally, village officials debated creating an entertainment tax for the event and others like it. That revenue would help recoup associated public safety costs, Guenther said.

"There would be some added stress to our resources," he said.

If the board ultimately creates an entertainment tax on ticket sales, it could be applied to musical performances at local bars and other activities, Guenther said. Some towns charge such a tax on tickets to movies, plays and sporting events, he said.

Trustee Erich Schwenk said he isn't concerned about cannabis consumption being encouraged at a Rise-sponsored concert, noting its use already is prevalent at similar shows. He described the proposed event or series as "an opportunity to bring people to Mundelein."

Yet, Schwenk said he's not thrilled with people visiting Mundelein "solely to be inebriated."

"Where they're going to go and in what condition are they going to leave is my fear," he said.

Trustee Kara Lambert said she is concerned about public safety and event parking, as well as the impact on the future residents of the Townes at Oak Creek townhouse development being built near the dispensary.

Parking is an issue for Trustee Jenny Ross, too. Ross also wants to ensure any event meets the requirements of the village's noise ordinance.

Tickets to a concert or concerts at Rise could cost about $80 each, Guenther said. He suggested the board consider an entertainment tax of between 3% and 5%, and no one objected. The village staff now could draft such an ordinance.

By the time the discussion ended, all the trustees except Tim Wilson voiced support for creating a new type of liquor license for concerts at Rise. Several suggested limiting alcohol sales to beer and wine.

Wilson expressed several concerns, including about cannabis' psychological effects on people. He doesn't think the village needs a new type of liquor license.

"I've kind of turned a bit on this," Wilson said.

The board took no formal action.

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  Mundelein officials have heard a proposal from the Rise dispensary to host an outdoor concert - or several - where consumption of its cannabis products would be allowed. John Starks/
  The Rise dispensary has told Mundelein village leaders of its plans to host an outdoor concert - or several - in the open lot across the street from its Armour Boulevard location. Consumption of its cannabis products would be allowed on-site. John Starks/
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