Roselle considering whether to allow marijuana sales in the village

 
 
Updated 5/25/2021 4:49 PM

Roselle trustees are exploring the possibility of allowing recreational marijuana businesses after voters showed support for the idea.

The village board on Monday night talked about lifting Roselle's ban on adult-use marijuana businesses, which has been in place since 2019. A final decision by the board could be made by September.

 

Before the decision is made, the issue will be examined by trustees and members of the planning and zoning commission. Public meetings also will be held.

The discussion comes after voters approved two cannabis-related questions on the April ballot.

One of the ballot questions asked if adult-use recreational marijuana sales should be allowed in town. The other asked if Roselle should allow for the "growing, infusion, cultivation, processing, and transporting" of adult-use recreational marijuana.

"I think we did our part in determining what the population wants us to do," Mayor David Pileski said. "It's on us to implement this policy and see what we can do."

Both ballot questions were nonbinding. So it's up to village officials to decide if they should allow businesses to operate under Illinois' Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which made recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults legal across the state.

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While municipalities can't ban possession or use of marijuana, they can prohibit its sale in their communities.

Trustee Wayne Domke, citing poor voter turnout in the April election, said many residents need an opportunity to be heard.

"Only 15% of registered voters voted in the election," Domke said. "There may be a lot of people that missed the opportunity to voice their concerns. So waiting until September lets them get ample time to still get involved."

Three new trustees -- Thomas Piorkowski, Cheryl Lenisa and Tom Della Penna -- have said they are in favor of allowing recreational marijuana businesses as a potential source of revenue. If a town permits marijuana sales, it's allowed to place local taxes of up to 3% on the sales.

Still, there are questions about where a dispensary could go in the village.

Roselle's zoning rules don't allow for marijuana sales and distribution in areas zoned for recreation, child care, or residential uses. A former gas station along Irving Park Road has been floated as a possible destination, as well as buildings along Lake Street.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Domke said he's concerned that having a dispensary in Roselle could deter other businesses from locating in the area.

But Trustee Bruce Berkshire said his opinion on the matter changed after seeing dispensaries in towns like Addison and Schaumburg.

"They are professional businesses," Berkshire said. "They are discreet in terms of their naming or signage. It would prove beneficial on a corridor like Lake Street because they are looking for higher traffic. I'm not averse to having them in more visible locations."

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