Elgin will discuss whether to allow pot sales

Updated 9/9/2019 3:58 PM

The Elgin City Council will have its first discussion Wednesday about whether to allow recreational marijuana sales in town.

The possession and consumption of recreational marijuana by people 21 and older will be legal in Illinois starting Jan. 1, and towns across the suburbs are discussing whether to allow that within their boundaries.


If they do, towns can enact "reasonable" zoning ordinances and regulate how many and where those businesses are located, and can impose local sales taxes up to 3%.

The state will issue up to 75 retail marijuana licenses, including 47 in the Chicago metro area, before May 1. Up to 110 licenses will be available by December 2021. Existing medical marijuana dispensaries can apply for early approval licenses to sell recreational marijuana on site or at a different location within the same town.

Two medical marijuana dispensaries in the suburbs -- Clinic Mundelein in Mundelein and 3C Compassionate Care Center in Naperville -- were among the first five in Illinois to receive licenses last month.

Naperville City Council voted to ban recreational marijuana sales and to address the issue in a referendum question at a date to be determined. Grayslake also banned sales until at least 2021.

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Arlington Heights, South Elgin, Wauconda, Elburn and Buffalo Grove had preliminarily indicated they are open to allowing recreational marijuana sales.

Elgin has no medical marijuana dispensaries. The city had granted zoning for a medical marijuana dispensary in October 2014, but that dispensary was turned down for a license by the state.

Recreational marijuana, including sellers and growers, is projected to generate more than $57 million in tax revenues and licensing fees this fiscal year, and more in years to come. A total 8% of state revenues from marijuana will be distributed among local governments on a per capita basis to support law enforcement and prevention of illegal sales and driving under the influence of cannabis.

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