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Huntley Village Board rejects recreational marijuana use, OKs medical use dispensaries

Mature marijuana plants are seen flowering prior to harvest May 20 under artificial lights at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, California.
Mature marijuana plants are seen flowering prior to harvest May 20 under artificial lights at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, California.

The Huntley Village Board unanimously voted to prohibit recreational marijuana businesses from operating within the village on Tuesday.

In November, the Huntley Plan Commission recommended for board consideration a series of text amendments to the village’s zoning ordinance that would regulate recreational marijuana retailers.

Under the proposed ordinance, no more than one adult-use marijuana dispensary would have been permitted to operate within the village at any given time. Dispensaries also couldn’t be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of certain public areas, including public schools, existing religious establishments, park district properties and libraries.

Although a couple members of the public spoke in support of recreational marijuana, the Huntley Village Board unanimously rejected the zoning changes. The board then approved the prohibition of recreational marijuana retailers in the village.

Trustee Harry Leopold said that allowing recreational marijuana businesses to operate within the village would be inconsistent with the family values of Huntley.

However, the Huntley Village Board voted in favor of zoning changes for medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, the state law regulating medical marijuana use, provides a number of differences in the zoning of recreational and medical marijuana businesses.

Unlike recreational marijuana, there is no local prohibition option for medical marijuana without good reason. A municipality also isn’t authorized to cap the number of dispensaries or cultivation centers within their jurisdiction.

Under the revised zoning ordinance, no medical marijuana cultivation center can be established, maintained or operated on any lot that has a property line within 2,500 feet of the property line of a pre-existing public or private pre-school or elementary or secondary school or day care center, day care home, group day care home, part-day child care facility or an area zoned for residential use.

Medical marijuana dispensaries would have the same zoning boundaries as the ones laid out in the village’s failed recreational marijuana zoning amendments.

The Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax is not applicable to medical marijuana, meaning the village of Huntley cannot collect a sales tax on medical marijuana products. 

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