Plan to allow recreational pot sales in Mundelein edges forward

  • A medical marijuana dispensary called the Clinic Mundelein has operated since 2015. The owner wants to sell the drug to recreational users, too, and has a state license to do so starting Jan. 1.

    A medical marijuana dispensary called the Clinic Mundelein has operated since 2015. The owner wants to sell the drug to recreational users, too, and has a state license to do so starting Jan. 1. Daily Herald File Photo, 2015

 
 
Posted10/15/2019 5:34 AM

A proposal that would allow businesses in Mundelein to sell, grow or process marijuana for recreational users took another step forward Monday.

Trustees authorized Village Administrator John Lobaito to formally ask Mundelein's planing and zoning commission to amend local zoning rules so such businesses can operate in certain commercial, office and manufacturing districts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Marijuana stores would be allowed in some shopping centers, manufacturing zones and mixed-use manufacturing districts. Growers, cultivation centers and processing centers would be allowed in both types of manufacturing zones but not commercial zones.

However, such businesses wouldn't be allowed within 1,500 feet of existing medical or recreational cannabis dispensaries, 1,000 feet of schools, 1,000 feet of day care facilities or 500 feet of parks.

On-site consumption would be prohibited at any cannabis-related business.

The board also authorized Lobaito to request zoning regulations covering parking, operating hours and signs.

The planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing and debate the requests Nov. 6. The proposals then will bounce back to the village board for final consideration, likely on Nov. 25.

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More zoning and ordinance changes are likely after that vote, Lobaito said during a committee-of-the-whole discussion before Monday's board meeting. For example, local criminal codes relating to marijuana and marijuana-related paraphernalia will need to be revised, Lobaito said.

"And probably things we haven't thought of yet," he said.

Trustees voted last month to direct administrators to draft zoning amendments for marijuana businesses.

The village's attorney subsequently said last month's motion was improperly worded. The wording proposed Monday "achieves the same end goal," Community Development Director Amanda Orenchuk said in a memo.

Starting Jan. 1, anyone 21 or older in Illinois can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sales will be allowed at state-licensed dispensaries. Mundelein's lone medical marijuana retailer, The Clinic Mundelein, got a license for recreational sales this summer.

The company that owns The Clinic plans to rebrand the store as Rise, according to village documents.

Despite the statewide legalization, individual communities can restrict or ban cannabis-related businesses.

Buffalo Grove, Island Lake, Lombard, Wauconda and West Dundee are among the towns that have approved or are leaning toward approving pot sales. Conversely, Long Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Lisle and Elmhurst are among the towns that have banned sales.

People on both sides of the marijuana legalization issue packed Mundelein's boardroom for previous discussions. But few people attended Monday's committee discussion and not many more attended the board meeting.

Monday's vote was 4-2, with trustees Dawn Abernathy and Ray Semple in the minority.

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