In June, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (the "Act") which legalizes the sale, possession and use of cannabis for recreational purposes in limited quantities by persons 21 years and older, beginning January 1, 2020.
Under the Act, municipalities have the ability to prohibit, allow, or significantly limit the location of recreational (adult-use) cannabis businesses by ordinance. Cannabis business types include dispensaries, cultivation centers, craft growers, processors and transportation organizations. If a municipality chooses to permit recreational cannabis dispensaries within its borders, then it may designate the zoning districts within which cannabis businesses may be allowed, and enact reasonable zoning regulations such as standards for off-street parking, signage, separation from residential uses and schools, hours of operation, and other provisions.
In contrast, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which became effective in January, 2014, limited the authority of municipalities to regulate medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries (a municipality could not unreasonably prohibit the facilities). In 2014, medical cannabis facilities were added to the list of special uses allowed in the I-1 Light Industrial District with the condition that the dispensary not be permitted next to a residential property. To date, no medical cannabis businesses have opted to locate in La Grange.
At the July 8, 2019 Village Board Meeting, the Village Attorney provided a general overview of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, the Coalition for a Drug-Free Lyons Township provided a presentation on the topic, and the Village Board adopted a Resolution advising the public that recreational cannabis businesses are currently prohibited and that the Village would be studying the matter further. A video and minutes of the meeting are available on the Village's website.
Based on the Resolution passed by the Village Board, the Village is required to take action in the near future, either by moving forward with its decision-making process, or by determining to prohibit recreational cannabis businesses.
The Village Board discussed the matter at its September 23, 2019 Village Board Meeting. The public was invited to attend the meeting and provide comments or to submit comments via e mail to Village Manager Andrianna Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org. After discussion, the Village Board directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance prohibiting cannabis business establishments in La Grange. The Village Board is expected to consider a draft ordinance at its next regularly scheduled Village Board meeting on Monday, October 14, 2019.
For more information, please see the Recreational Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions.