Lake Forest tackles medical marijuana issue
Updated: December 4, 2012 7:50PM
LAKE FOREST — City officials will soon begin examining areas where a distribution facility for medical marijuana might be located should a business request be made.
With a vote on medical marijuana facilities possible in the General Assembly this month, and the governor able to sign the legislation immediately after its passage, should he so chose, the Lake Forest City Council Monday night took action to get out in front of the issue.
Aldermen passed a resolution to put zoning restrictions on marijuana dispensaries and related facilities. The resolution passed unanimously, with Mayor James Cowhey and Third Ward Alderman Stanford “Randy” Tack absent.
City Manager Robert Kiely said without any action and with the city council not meeting again for a month, the city would not be immediately equipped to handle zoning requests for distribution facilities, if the state legislation is passed.
“We need to put (areas for distribution centers) in the zoning code,” Kiely said.
City Attorney Vic Filippini said the approved resolution serves as “a red flag,” stopping any medical marijuana distribution center from opening up because of a lack of rules and regulations on the municipality’s part. The red flag designates that zoning consideration is under way and stops any facility from opening up simply because of a lack of zoning laws prohibiting locations for such a facility.
“We want to make sure a facility meets the city’s long-standing rules and regulations,” Filippini said.
The measure next will go to the the planning and zoning commissions and a public hearing will be held, officials said.
The proposed state law would only allow one medical marijuana distribution center in each of the 59 state Senate districts. Lake Forest is in the 29th state Senate District, which also includes all or parts of Bannockburn, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Fort Sheridan, Highland Park, Highwood, Glencoe, Glenview, Knollwood, Lake Bluff, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Prospect Heights and Riverwoods.