Mount Prospect closer to setting regulations for recreational marijuana sales
Mount Prospect's planning and zoning commission voted unanimously Thursday to recommend zoning that would allow sales of recreational marijuana in certain nonresidential areas.
That, combined with the 6-0 votes by the finance commission and the economic development commission in favor of opting in sets the stage for the village board to give the green light.
The village board, which has already held two joint meetings with the planning and zoning commission, will consider the zoning regulations at its Dec. 3 meeting, with a second reading scheduled for Dec. 10.
In contrast to communities like Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove, where trustees were greeted by a wave of Opt Out T-shirts, no one spoke out against the zoning. Resident Pam Magnuson called the commission's decision "brilliant," seeing a potential 3 percent use tax as a way to fund civic improvement.
If approved by the village board, the village would allow the sale of recreational marijuana to customers of age 21 or older in its B3 business district, which includes Randhurst, or in its I1 industrial district as a conditional use. Cannabis lounges and social spaces would be prohibited.
The regulations require a 100-foot buffer between cannabis businesses and any public or private school, church/place of worship or hospital, as well as a 1,500-foot separation from another cannabis business.
The bulk of the discussion concerned the 100-foot buffer, which mirrors rules for liquor establishments, but is much less than the 1,000 feet Buffalo Grove is requiring.
"Since it is now by law going to be a legal substance, I think it makes sense that we treat it the same way that we treat liquor establishments," said Commissioner William Beattie.
Of 15 surrounding communities, three have opted in (Buffalo Grove, Northbrook and Niles), while two have opted out (Arlington Heights and Park Ridge).
Victoria Mendicino, of New Age Care, a medical marijuana dispensary at 2015 E. Euclid Ave., said the business is considering expanding into the adjacent space and has support from the landlord. If the village approves recreational sales, the owner plans to apply for a dual-operating license.