Naperville voters leaning yes in recreational pot advisory vote

Updated 3/17/2020 11:23 PM

A slim majority of Naperville voters appears to be sending the message that residents want recreational marijuana sales to be allowed in their town.

A total of 14,905, or 53%, of voters said yes to a nonbinding referendum question about whether adult-use cannabis sales should be allowed in Naperville, while 13,143, or 47%, said no, according to early unofficial election results with 54% of precincts reporting in DuPage and Will counties.


The vote, once complete, will be advisory. So a majority-yes vote would not mean any cannabis stores automatically would be able to sell to all customers ages 21 and older.

In order for adult-use sales to begin, the city council would need to reverse a ban enacted in September and set zoning parameters to govern the number and location of stores that would be allowed. The council also could decide to impose a local tax. Several city council members have indicated they would follow the will of the voters when it comes to local cannabis sales regulation.

3C Compassionate Care Center, a medical marijuana dispensary that has been operating since 2016, and its parent company Green Thumb Industries, were among the forces seeking a yes vote.

Political action committees and grass-roots groups formed on both sides of the issue and encouraged voters to see things their way. The debate focused on potential revenue the city could receive from allowing and taxing recreational marijuana sales and on issues of safety, teen use and community image.

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