Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Issue Sent To Park Ridge City Council

ILLINOIS:  The Park Ridge planning and zoning commission is passing back to aldermen the question of whether to amend the city’s zoning code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries one month after elected officials passed it to the planning body.

Following a brief public hearing that drew no members of the public, commission members unanimously recommended on Sept. 9 amending the city code to allow medical marijuana dispensaries as a special use within “business 3” zoning districts, which include general commercial, wholesale and service categories.

Their decision now serves as a recommendation to the City Council, which is likely to take up the matter in October. Aldermen would have to vote twice to approve code changes before they could take effect.

The “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program,” which became law on Jan. 1, created a four-year pilot program for medical marijuana in the state. It preempts “home rule” authority to ban dispensaries but gives municipalities leeway in reasonable zoning restrictions.