Village to Consider Moratorium & Referendum on Retail Sale of Cannabis

At the September 10 Village Board meeting, President Bielinski announced that he has directed Village Staff to :

  1. Prepare and submit to the Village Board for introduction on September 24, 2019 a moratorium ordinance prohibiting recreational cannabis dispensaries in Wilmette, or the sale of cannabis for recreational, non-medicinal purposes.
  1. Prepare and submit to the Village Board for introduction on September 24, 2019 such Ordinances as are required to make the necessary technical amendments to the Village Code and Zoning Ordinance and tax provisions consistent the new State law (and designate the Judiciary Committee as a Special Zoning Committee for technical Zoning Ordinance amendments).
  1. At the appropriate time in 2020, as provided in the Illinois Election Code, prepare and submit to the Village Board the appropriate Resolution to add an Advisory Referendum Question to the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election ballot asking residents whether the Village should permit recreational sale of cannabis.

The “moratorium” ordinance would maintain the status quo by prohibiting the sale of recreational cannabis in Wilmette. This would provide time to observe experiences in towns where dispensaries are permitted, followed by an opportunity to ask the entire community for its input in the broadest manner possible.

Background

New Illinois State law, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, allowing the recreational use of cannabis by persons over 21, and also allowing the sale of cannabis for recreational use by businesses. With regard to the legal use of cannabis by persons 21 and older, the State has preempted local government authority on that subject.  The Village will need to amend its Village Code and Zoning Ordinance to be consistent with the provisions of this part of the new State law. The other part of the new State law is the licensing of businesses to sell cannabis for recreational use.  Municipalities do have the authority to either prohibit these businesses, or permit them and regulate how many there are and where they may be located.

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