Bartlett OKs medical pot production in business park

  • With the state's backing, a medical marijuana grower could start planting in Bartlett's Brewster Creek Business Park, village trustees decided Tuesday night.

    With the state's backing, a medical marijuana grower could start planting in Bartlett's Brewster Creek Business Park, village trustees decided Tuesday night. Associated Press file photo

 
 
Posted9/17/2014 5:30 AM

With the state's backing, a medical marijuana grower could start planting in a Bartlett industrial park, village trustees decided Tuesday night.

Four would-be producers are vying for a vacant, 10.5-acre property in the Brewster Creek Business Park. But whether one of them snags the coveted spot depends on state regulators.

 

Illinois allows only 21 cultivation centers, or one in each state police district. The grower that wins a state permit in the district in question -- including DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties -- may have to beat out as many as 50 other applicants, officials say.

In DuPage alone, the Bartlett industrial park is just one of the areas that meet the state's restrictions on where cultivators can grow medical marijuana, Bartlett Community Development Director Jim Plonczynski said.

In a 5-1 vote Tuesday, trustees agreed to grant a village permit for a cultivation center to open in Brewster Creek, but there are some strings attached. A state-licensed producer would still have to turn in final engineering and landscaping plans that follow village code. Once up and running, a grower would have to feed 24/7 surveillance footage to Bartlett police, among other rules.

The conditions didn't convince Trustee Aaron Reinke, the lone opponent to the measure. He asked trustees if they were "disturbed by the lack of detail" in the preliminary site plans pitched by the four. He also pointed out that none of the companies testified before the board or the village's plan commission.

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"I don't know what the building is going to look like in great detail," Reinke said.

"It's that level of detail that I'm concerned about," he added. "I mean, I understand the state has all the regulations. That's fine and dandy, but what is this building going to look like? What are we actually approving?"

Even if the state awards a license to a grower eyeing Bartlett, the village board won't log another vote on the final building plans, officials say. It will be up to Bartlett staff members to ensure the proposals adhere to village ordinances.

The landowner, Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Co., has represented the four companies so far, disclosing only two of their names: Illinois Organix and Nirvana, according to village documents.

"I don't want to scare them away," Trustee T.L. Arends said. "I think we can go ahead and trust (Plonczynski's) good judgment. And if there's a problem, I think we can take care of it as it comes up."

Officials chalked up the level of detail to the state's application deadline. Both prospective growers and retailers have until Sept. 22 to hand in their paperwork to regulators and prove they meet the state's requirements. The measure approved by the board Tuesday helps the hopefuls stand out in the points-based application.

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