Cannabis sales in DeKalb

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Medical Marijuana Detail

DeKalb City Council meeting Monday evening will bring up the sale of cannabis within the city of DeKalb. As state officials prepare rules for Illinois to begin legal sales of adult-use cannabis starting January 1, municipalities across the state are taking different approaches when it comes to allowing recreational marijuana sales – some want it, while others are still discussing action.

Consuming cannabis in public will still be illegal in Illinois, but adults will be able to buy it. Just where adults will be able to buy it for recreational use is still up in the air as municipalities evaluate how the new law works for their communities. The law gives local governments the authority to regulate the sale of cannabis through zoning. Municipalities can’t ban recreational marijuana use, but officials can dictate where a dispensary can set up shop, if at all.

Existing medical dispensaries can apply for licenses to sell recreational cannabis. The state will then roll out more licenses for additional growing and selling licenses to other applicants. Two years ago DeKalb Zoning Board and Council approved a medical dispensary option for the City of DeKalb.

Municipalities that don’t zone to allow retail sales will still get revenue from the state from legal pot sales. 

Morton, near Peoria, voted earlier this month to not allow recreational marijuana sales within village limits. Sycamore, Lincolnwood, Oak Brook, and other cities may ban cannabis-related businesses within their city limits.

The state Act allows for some local control, but also imposes certain restrictions. For instance, under state law, no craft growers or infusers may be located in residential zoning districts. Additionally, no cannabis business may advertise within 1,000 feet of school grounds, playgrounds, recreation centers, child-care centers, public parks, and libraries, or game arcades where minors (under 21) are allowed. Whether a municipality may raise that restriction to, say, 1,500 feet is not clear and will hopefully be resolved in the Fall veto session.  

A municipality may not ban a pre-existing medical cannabis dispensary from obtaining a recreational cannabis license. However, a municipality may prohibit or significantly limit the location of cannabis businesses. In addition, it may allow certain cannabis establishments (e.g. dispensaries) and prohibit others (e.g. cultivators, infusers). Cannabis businesses would be subject to the zoning regulations of a particular district (such as setbacks, off-street parking, etc.) Some communities are permitting dispensaries in general commercial zones and not neighborhood commercial zones, and establishing distances from residential zoning, schools, and day-care centers that mirror the same restrictions on medical dispensaries. 

Principal Planner Dan Olson has prepared a number of City maps showing the potential impact of “clear zones” of 100 feet, 250 feet, 500 feet and 1,000 feet for the Council’s review. Committee of the Whole Meeting August 12, 2019 Page 5 of 7 Assistive services are available upon request. Hearing assistance devices are available in the Information & Technology Office, which is located to the right, just before entering Council Chambers.

Licenses and Permits. The licensing of cannabis businesses is the exclusive domain of the State of Illinois (Department of Agriculture and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation). The state Act authorizes up to 500 dispensary licenses across the state, and allows them to operate from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 

In the Fall veto session, Illinois legislators will have to wrestle with whether municipalities can limit the number of special use permits they can issue for the various types of businesses. A municipality may conduct inspections to ensure that the business complies with local building codes. 

On-Premises Consumption: Municipalities may regulate or ban consumption on the premises of a recreational cannabis establishment. 

Recreational Marijuana 

Recreational marijuana is pot that is used without medical justification. Recreational marijuana usually has more THC content than the medicinal variety, as this is what provides users with a “high.”

Medical Marijuana 

Marijuana is produced from the hemp plant that was traditionally used for making ropes and sails back in the 17th century. Nowadays it’s often found in the health food store in the form of hemp oil and hemp seeds, both rich sources of dietary fiber, protein and minerals.

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