Medical marijuana dispensary moves forward in Rolling Meadows
A medical marijuana facility received preliminary approval in Rolling Meadows at the city council's Tuesday meeting, though it will still need state approval before opening.
Medicinal Alternative Care Center is proposed for 975 Rohlwing Road, and it got a 6-1 approval from the city council on first reading, though it will be presented again for final approval at the next meeting.
Mayor Tom Rooney said that because the state legalized medical marijuana, individual municipalities are required to carry out the law, but that Rolling Meadows has placed some stricter regulations on potential businesses through a zoning amendment in October.
"Even if we don't like it, we don't have the flexibility to say no," he said.
Rooney said the facility is the first and only medical marijuana dispensary to apply in the city so far.
The facility would serve the Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and Palatine area, though only one of three applications for the area will be approved by the state.
The group proposing the dispensary -- Chicago Meds 2 -- is run by pharmacists and health care professionals, said Paul Sorkin, consultant for the group.
There are no elementary schools, high schools or day cares within 1,000 feet of the proposed dispensary. Only cardholders, designated caregivers and staffers, and people over 18 will be allowed to enter the business.
Sorkin estimated that the facility will serve between 50 and 100 people a day.
Alderman Len Prejna was the only one to vote against the proposal Tuesday night.
"I am concerned about the safety of having this facility," Prejna said.
Police Chief Dave Scanlan said the department has met with the petitioners and feels comfortable that they have security under control.
"They've been open to working with us and we have no issues," Scanlan said.
Because Rolling Meadows already has a methadone clinic in town, Therapeutic Interventions Inc., Scanlan said the department is used to working with similar security issues.
"I think everyone has concerns about safety," Rooney said. "But they have taken extraordinary steps to address those concerns."
There will be an armed security guard on the premises during all open hours and several other security measures, according the group's proposal.
Prejna also asked that the city look into what fees other municipalities are requiring from medical marijuana facilities before the possible final approval on Dec. 9.