Wauconda adopts zoning rules for pot businesses

  • Wauconda officials have approved zoning rules for marijuana stores and related businesses that would cater to recreational users.

    Wauconda officials have approved zoning rules for marijuana stores and related businesses that would cater to recreational users. Associated Press photo

Posted12/18/2019 5:30 AM

You can add Wauconda to the list of suburbs that will welcome marijuana dispensaries once a state law legalizing licensed sales to adult recreational users becomes effective next month.

The village board on Tuesday approved zoning regulations for businesses that sell, grow, process, infuse or transport pot products. The rules apply to businesses catering to any pot users, whether recreational or medical.


The rules limit the number of marijuana-related businesses in Wauconda to two dispensaries and up to four growers, processors, infusers or transporters.


• Entrepreneurs will need conditional permits from the village board to open marijuana-related businesses.

• Dispensaries won't be allowed within 500 feet of schools, parks, substance abuse treatment centers, churches or child care facilities.

• Dispensaries will be limited to retail business or general business zones.

• Growing centers will be allowed in the village's limited industrial and agricultural zones, while craft growers are restricted to limited industrial zones.

• Operations for processing, infusing or transporting marijuana will be restricted to limited industrial zones.

• On-site consumption won't be allowed.

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The board approved the rules 5-0. Trustee Rich Morino was absent.

The board already had approved a 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales.

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. State-licensed growing, cultivating and sales facilities will be allowed, too.

Individual communities can restrict the businesses with zoning regulations or ban them outright.

Buffalo Grove, Island Lake and Mundelein are among the other Lake County towns that have approved zoning rules for marijuana operations.

Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Long Grove and Vernon Hills are among the communities that have banned pot businesses.

Opponents and proponents of marijuana legalization filled the boardrooms in many of those towns for the public debates and eventual votes. But the activists were largely absent in Wauconda, with only sparse audience attendance at meetings on the issue.

Before Tuesday's vote, Mayor Lincoln Knight thanked the trustees for their work on the rules as well as residents who have spoken out "one way or another."

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