Lake Zurich board continues discussions on lifting ban on recreational pot sales

  • Lake Zurich board members voted Monday to move forward with discussions about reversing the town's ban on recreational marijuana sales.

      Lake Zurich board members voted Monday to move forward with discussions about reversing the town's ban on recreational marijuana sales. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2012

Updated 10/6/2020 6:02 PM

The Lake Zurich village board voted 4-1 Monday to continue discussions over rescinding the ban it imposed last year on recreational marijuana sales in town.

The matter will next go before the village's planning and zoning commission in November.


Village trustees voted 5-1 in September 2019 to ban recreational pot businesses in Lake Zurich, but they said at the time they would discuss the matter again in a year.

Talk of lifting the ban began at a board meeting last month when three trustees who'd voted for the ban -- Mary Beth Euker, Jonathan Sprawka and Greg Weider -- said they were open to further discussions and requested more information.

The village staff put together a report that included neighboring villages' policies, what state data has shown about the industry so far, and how much money in sales tax the village might collect by allowing recreational marijuana sales. The staff conservatively estimated that figure at $200,000 to $250,000 annually.

According to the report, recreational marijuana businesses in other suburbs have not led to a significant increase in law enforcement activity.

Euker, Sprawka and Weider joined Trustee Janice Gannon in voting Monday to send the matter to the planning and zoning commission. Gannon was the only trustee who voted last year in favor of recreational marijuana sales,

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Trustee Marc Spacone said he remains opposed to allowing recreational marijuana sales in the village.

"I was last year a no, I still am a no, I always will be a no," said Spacone, who is an Elgin Area School District U-46 administrator. "I deal with enough kids who steal their parents Xanax and alcohol, I don't need another element thrown on there because of the increase in access."

Lake Zurich Community Development Director Sarosh Saher said the villages planning and zoning commission likely will discuss the topic at a public hearing in November. The commission will make recommendations to the village board about how recreational marijuana businesses -- if allowed -- should be zoned, designed and operated, and where they can locate.

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