Schaumburg village board backing idea of recreational pot sales in town
A Schaumburg village board majority is endorsing the idea of allowing recreational marijuana sales in town.
Casual pot use becomes legal in Illinois beginning Jan. 1. Towns can't outlaw its use, but they can decide to prohibit businesses that sell it or restrict their location.
At a nonvoting Schaumburg village board committee session Wednesday night, Mayor Tom Dailly and four trustees backed the concept of allowing sales at marijuana dispensaries. Trustee George Dunham objected to the idea, while Trustee Jack Sullivan did not attend the meeting.
"It's going to be legal in the state," Trustee Mark Madej said. "There's going to be people using it from other cities. It's not illegal for them to use it."
Dunham didn't leave any wiggle room on where he stood on pot sales in Schaumburg.
"No," he said. "Flat, unadulterated no. Opt out. I realize I'm in the minority, but that's my thought."
Board members recommended limiting Schaumburg to five marijuana shops with no on-site consumption and enacting a maximum 3% local tax on sales. It also is proposed that the pot dispensaries be required to seek a special-use permit from the village board and establish a required distance away from sensitive areas such as schools, churches and day-care centers.
The marijuana issue is expected to be discussed again at a village board committee meeting Oct. 15. A final vote on the matter could occur Oct. 22, Village Manager Brian Townsend said.
Townsend said Schaumburg already has been approached by companies wanting to sell recreational marijuana in the village. Representatives from one of the pot businesses, Cresco Labs Inc., attended Wednesday's meeting.
Similar marijuana discussions have been held by village boards and city councils across the suburbs.
Thus far, Elburn has voted to allow marijuana sales, and village boards in South Elgin, Pingree Grove and East Dundee plan to do the same after they decide on zoning regulations. Based on discussions, leaning toward "yes" are Arlington Heights, Elgin, Buffalo Grove, Lake in the Hills, St. Charles, Bartlett, Lombard, North Aurora, Island Lake and Wauconda.
Naperville, Long Grove, Grayslake and Lake Zurich are among the communities that have voted to ban sales.
While not endorsing pot sales, a Palatine village council majority this month agreed to seek more research on potential local tax revenue and other issues. By not immediately opting out, a public hearing on the idea of recreational marijuana sales in Palatine is expected in October or November.