Marijuana sales approved for Round Lake Park
Round Lake Park has become the most recent Lake County community to allow businesses to sell marijuana for recreational use.
Trustees on Tuesday voted 5-1 to allow marijuana sales and start the process of changing zoning regulations to do that.
The village's planning commission/zoning board of appeal will hold a public hearing and work out the details to be considered by the village board, likely after the production, sale and use of recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.
Potential marijuana shopkeepers have been taking the pulse of various communities to determine whether such an operation would be viable.
"We've had people interested and they just wanted to see where the board was," Mayor Linda Lucassen said.
Communities allowing recreational marijuana sales can impose a tax of up to 3%. Like other communities, Round Lake Park authorized that tax in advance of a vote on allowing sales.
Lucassen said the village would gain revenue if a store were to open, but she could not say how much.
Besides having a say on retail stores, local governments also can authorize the consumption of cannabis on certain sites and can regulate the location of craft growers, infusers and cultivation centers.
"There are all sorts of zoning (regulations) that can take place; it's not just dispensaries," said Police Chief George Filenko, who recently briefed the planning and zoning commission. "Nothing has been zoned yet."
Filenko said law enforcement will have to deal with potentially impaired drivers regardless, and there are few drug recognition experts or equipment to determine that.
In Lake County, more communities oppose marijuana sales than favor it.
Round Lake Park joins Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, North Chicago, Wadsworth, Zion and Winthrop Harbor in approving sales. Vernon Hills, Tower Lakes, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Long Grove, Mettawa, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Bannockburn, Libertyville, Hainesville and Grayslake have banned sales.