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Grayslake prepares for medical marijuana zoning

Updated: January 21, 2013 3:52PM

GRAYSLAKE — With proposed legislation pending in the Illinois House to authorize community medical marijuana dispensaries, the Village Board decided Tuesday night to take some preventive medicine of its own.

Mayor Rhett Taylor said should such legislation pass in Springfield, good zoning practices to accommodate such facilities at the community level will be very important.

“Our zoning practices must be compatible with good land use,” he told trustees.

The board then unanimously adopted Resolution No. 810, “Regarding Zoning Restrictions on Cannabis Dispensaries and Related Facilities.”

Trustees did not take any position on the subject of medicinal marijuana itself.

If House Bill 30 is approved in the upcoming session by the General Assembly it would allow qualified patients who have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition to legally use medicinal cannabis from non-profit distribution facilities that would be authorized to grow, harvest and distribute marijuana.

Only one state-sanctioned distribution facility would be permitted to operate within each Illinois Senate district.

The Grayslake resolution points out that under its Zoning Code, the village would not be immediately equipped to handle potential zoning requests from possible distribution center requests.

Therefore, officials have determined that it is in the best interest of Grayslake to direct the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals to evaluate the classification of such cannabis distribution facilities and make recommendations to the Village Board whether the facilities should be considered “special uses” under the zoning code, as well as consider other regulations that might be necessary or beneficial to residents.

The process would involve a public hearing to determine whether the zoning code should be amended to include these cannabis facilities as special uses. Such a hearing would take place within 120 days following adoption of the proposed, or similar legislation.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia currently allow medicinal marijuana for its residents.

Alaska, Oregon, and Washington were the first in 1998. Both Connecticut and Massachusetts adopted permissive legislation this year. Other states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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