Naperville’s city code is poised for an update that will provide for the local regulation of medical marijuana.
The Illinois Legislature in August enacted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, which takes effect Jan. 1. The act enables cultivation centers and dispensing facilities for medicinal uses of marijuana to be located anywhere in the state. While local municipalities can establish stricter guidelines than those provided by the act, they must at a minimum adhere to state restrictions and cannot entirely ban the facilities, designed to serve people with debilitating health conditions and diseases that cause chronic pain deemed likely to respond to the treatment.
City Council members Tuesday evening will take a look at their options. Growing sites and dispensaries will have to meet registration requirements and minimum placement distances from schools and day care centers, and can’t be located in residential districts or in the same office space as physicians. There also can be only one cultivation center in each Illinois State Police district. The state has 22 police districts.
That leaves a significantly restricted range of potential sites in Naperville, particularly for growing marijuana under the new legislation.
“Based on the maps provided, it appears that there will be limited opportunities (for) a cultivation center within the city limits,” Allison Laff, planning operations manager in the city’s Transportation, Engineering, and Development Business Group, wrote in a council memo. “However, there may be several opportunities to locate dispensing facilities, particularly along the city’s primary retail corridors, including Route 59, Ogden Avenue, and Washington Street.”
The staff will ask officials to consider amending the city code, possibly forbidding the cultivation centers and dispensing sites in downtown zoning and general commercial districts; setting limits in industrial areas and designating the facilities as a conditional use; specifying distance requirements from residential districts; or capping the number of dispensing facilities permitted on a single property.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville.