After much debate, here's where most suburbs stand on recreational pot sales

  • Ahead of the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana starting Wednesday, elected officials across the suburbs have been debating whether to allow pot sales within their borders.

    Ahead of the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana starting Wednesday, elected officials across the suburbs have been debating whether to allow pot sales within their borders. AP Photo/Julio Cortez, March 2019

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 12/30/2019 8:29 AM

Ahead of the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana, elected officials across the suburbs spend the second half of 2019 debating whether to allow pot sales within their borders.

Some, like in Glen Ellyn, Hawthorn Woods and Rosemont, opted for moratoriums until a later date. Naperville leaders chose to hold an advisory referendum in March. Some towns welcomed it -- and the tax revenues sales will generate -- and enacted zoning ordinances regulating how many and where dispensaries can be located, while others banned sales altogether.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

So far, only existing medical marijuana dispensaries that received "early approval" licenses from the state can start selling recreational pot on Wednesday. In the suburbs, those dispensaries are in Addison, Mundelein and North Aurora.

Dispensaries in Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Naperville also received early approval licenses, but their host municipalities did not grant permission to allow recreational sales. A dispensary in Buffalo Grove has an early approval license and local zoning permission, but plans to sell only to medical patients for now. In St. Charles, a medical dispensary received a license, but city council members are still deciding whether to grant permission for the store to begin recreational sales from its current location.

The state will approve up to 47 additional licenses for new recreational marijuana dispensaries in the greater Chicago area by May 1. Here's a look at which communities said "yes," which said "no," and which suburbs remain undecided.

YES: Sales allowed

Addison, Antioch, Aurora, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpentersville, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Elburn, Elgin, Fox Lake, Fox River Grove, Geneva, Gilberts, Hoffman Estates, Island Lake, Lake in the Hills, Lombard, Mundelein, North Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace, Palatine, Pingree Grove, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Schaumburg, Sleepy Hollow, South Elgin, St. Charles, Streamwood, Villa Park, Volo, Wadsworth, Warrenville, Wauconda, West Dundee, Wheeling, Winfield.

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NO: Sales banned

Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Barrington, Batavia, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Campton Hills, Deer Park, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn (moratorium until Oct. 26), Glendale Heights, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Hainesville, Hawthorn Woods (moratorium until May 31), Inverness, Itasca, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Lisle, Long Grove, Mettawa, Mount Prospect, Naperville, North Barrington, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, Roselle, Rosemont (moratorium until June 30), Round Lake, South Barrington, Sugar Grove, Vernon Hills, Wayne, West Chicago, Wheaton, Wood Dale, Woodridge.

Undecided

Burlington: next discussion Jan. 6; East Dundee: leaning yes, next discussion Jan. 6 or later, vote expected in January; Elk Grove Village: next discussion Jan. 14 or later; Hampshire: leaning yes, vote Jan. 2 or Jan. 16; Hanover Park: next discussion in late January or early February; Huntley: leaning yes, vote Jan. 9; Lakemoor: planning and zoning commission discussion in January, followed by village board discussion expected in February.

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