Hoffman Estates prepares to adopt rules on pot sales

  • Hoffman Estates village board members Monday directed their attorney to draft specific village regulations for the sale of recreational cannabis, in preparation for a final vote on Dec. 16.

    Hoffman Estates village board members Monday directed their attorney to draft specific village regulations for the sale of recreational cannabis, in preparation for a final vote on Dec. 16. AP photo/Julio Cortez, March 2019

 
 
Posted12/3/2019 5:22 AM

Hoffman Estates village board members voted 4-2 Monday to draft regulations on recreational pot sales that would limit the number of dispensaries to three and confine them to three particular areas along major highways and away from neighborhoods.

With Trustee Karen Mills absent, her colleagues on the board gave direction to Corporation Counsel Art Janura to write up the proposed changes to the village code in anticipation of final approval on Dec. 16.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Trustees Gary Pilafas and Gary Stanton voted against the changes. While Pilafas has previously criticized the state law making the nonpublic use of recreational pot legal for adults over the age of 21 on Jan. 1, Stanton said his reasons were a combination of that and his belief that the village's own proposed zoning rules are too broad.

Though municipalities cannot further restrict cannabis use, they do have the right to regulate sales within their borders and tax them up to 3% as Hoffman Estates plans to do.

The three business areas to which the village is restricting recreational cannabis dispensaries are on the west side, the Barrington Road corridor, and near the intersection of Higgins and Roselle roads.

During two planning and zoning commission meetings this fall, officials and residents discussed keeping dispensaries away from schools, day care centers and houses of worship. But by confining dispensaries to specific properties within these three overlay districts, it was deemed unnecessary to add any further setback requirements, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Peter Gugliotta said.

Nevertheless, any dispensary in Hoffman Estates will require a special-use permit, granting the village board even more discretion about its particular location, he added.

The state law itself prohibits dispensaries from being within 1,500 feet of each other as well as the use of pot on the premises. The state is also dictating all the security requirements for dispensaries.

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