Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor prefaced a vote on a resolution on Tuesday's village board agenda by calling it "an unusual item," but one that needed to be addressed for the sake of being proactive.
In January, the Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote on HB30, which, if passed, would create the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
The act would make make the possession of up to six cannabis plants and 2 ounces of dried usable cannabis legal for patients suffering from a debilitating medical condition, as diagnosed by a doctor.
If HB30 passes—it's failed twice already, but House sponsor Lou Lang (D-Skokie) claims he's close to securing the minimum 60 votes needed for a victory according to the Marijuana Policy Project—registered non-profit medical cannabis organizations would be looking for locations to set up shop.
If that is the case, the Village of Grayslake intends to have its say regarding zoning for such facilities.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution that directs the plan commission/zoning board of appeals to hold a public hearing on the question of whether the village zoning code should be amended to include distribution facilities as a special use, meaning any request to open one would need village approval via a special use permit.
This is not an issue of whether medical cannabis dispensaries should be allowed, said Taylor. "It is essentially a land use issue."
Through zoning, said Taylor, the village could dictate where dispensaries could and could not locate, such as in a residential area or near a school.
New Jersey's first medicinal cannabis dispensary, the Greenleaf Compassion Center, opened in Essex County on Dec. 6. Two groups sought permission to open dispensaries in Burlington County, New Jersey, but their applications were rejected by the local zoning boards in those towns, according to the Internet news outlet phillyBurbs.com.
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