After a heated five-hour meeting, suburban Buffalo Grove is moving forward with a zoning change that will clear the way for a medical marijuana dispensary to sell recreational marijuana.
That move comes in spite of a community outcry about the decision.
At a meeting that lasted until 1 a.m., village board members heard from members of the community both in favor of, and opposed to, the zoning change, but ultimately the board decided to allow the dispensary to participate in the state’s legal marijuana market, which will officially open on Jan. 1, 2020.
“It’s not good like this,” one resident said. “I don’t want it here.”
Despite that opposition, officials from the company that runs the dispensary were pleased with the decision, including Cresco Labs’ Jason Erkes.
“It’s important for people know that we are putting a wellness focus dispensary in the community,” he said. “We’re working hard to eliminate the stigma (around marijuana).”
An ordinance approved by the village on Tuesday morning says that no more than two dispensaries will be allowed, and restricted them to specific areas of the village. Residents will not be allowed to use cannabis products on-site at the dispensary, and no one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter the establishments.
Random compliance checks were also mandated under the new ordinance.
In a press release, the village says that no applications are on file for a recreational dispensary, and anyone seeking to open one will be subject to a public hearing.