Aurora approves medical marijuana zoning rules

A marijuana plant. | AP file
A marijuana plant. | AP file

AURORA – Aldermen voted unanimously this week to approve new zoning rules that will affect future medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations in Aurora city limits.

After being issued a state license, those wanting to sell or grow medical marijuana must now apply for a special use permit in Aurora. Before applying, the applicant must submit an operations plan, security plan and disposal plan to the city, according to Aurora Planning Director Stephane Phifer.

Chief of Staff Carie Anne Ergo said this week that the city has not received formal proposals from prospective dispensaries, but has fielded calls about the city’s permit process.

Up to 60 medical marijuana dispensing organizations and 22 cultivation centers will be located in Illinois, according to state rules. The state’s Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law in August 2013 and took effect in January of this year.

While the state rules provide specific provisions relating to the location of medical marijuana cultivation centers and medical marijuana dispensing organizations, local governments are able to enact zoning regulations that do not conflict with the act, according to Phifer.

Under city rules, dispensary patrons will not be allowed to consume marijuana products on site, and dispensary employees must be 21 years old or older and must pass a criminal background check asserting that they have not been convicted of a felony or have violated city, state and federal liquor and drug rules.

Dispensaries will also not be allowed to display marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia on signage and products should not be visible from outside the store. Drive-through services are also prohibited, under the city’s zoning amendment.

Facility hours would be limited to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

According to state rules, the 60 dispensing organizations in Illinois may not be located within 1,000 feet of existing school, day care center, day care home or child care facilities. Registered dispensaries may not be located in a house, apartment or an area zoned for residential use.

Only one medical cannabis cultivation center will be permitted in each Illinois Police District, according to the state. There are 22 police districts in the state.

Dispensing and growing licenses are issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

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3 Comments

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    […] centers and dispensaries in:  in Urbana (ISP District 10), Roseville (ISP District 14), Aurora (ISP District 2 and ISP District 5),  Macomb (ISP District 14), Spring Valley (ISP District […]

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    […] and 22 cultivation centers will be located in Illinois, according to state rules. visit http://beaconnews.suntimes.com/2014/07/23/aurora-approves-medical-marijuana-zoning-rules/ to keep […]

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