Recreational Cannabis Information
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On June 25, 2019 Governor Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) which legalizes the sale, possession, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes in limited quantities by persons 21 years and older, beginning January 1, 2020.
As with medical cannabis, the Recreational Cannabis Act provides a limited number of licenses that the State will issue for cultivation centers and dispensaries. It is anticipated that a majority of the existing 55 medical cannabis facilities in the State will apply for "early approval" licenses to allow those dispensaries to serve both medical and recreational cannabis markets starting January 1, 2020. The closest existing dispensary is located in Mundelein. In addition to the one recreational license that will be available for existing medical cannabis distributors to have at their existing location, those business owners may also apply for a "secondary" site license which would be offsite elsewhere in the identified region. If allowed, one of these "secondary" sites may choose to locate in Libertyville and could potentially start operation as early as January 1, 2020 if allowed by Libertyville. After the initial licensing, the State will issue licenses on a staggered basis through 2022. Municipalities may regulate or ban cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction, but would not have local control over the licensing process.
The Village of Libertyville may prohibit or significantly limit the location of recreational cannabis businesses by ordinance. The Recreational Cannabis Act itself prohibits a new cannabis dispensary from locating within 1,500 feet of another dispensary. If the Village chooses to permit recreational cannabis dispensaries within its borders, then it may designate the zoning districts within which cannabis businesses may be allowed as a permitted or special use and enact reasonable zoning regulations such as standards for off-street parking, signs, separation from residential or other sensitive uses, and hours of operation, among other things. In addition, the Act gives the Village the ability to decide if they wish to allow other kinds of cannabis businesses (cultivation, distribution centers, etc.) and if the use of cannabis will be allowed at the dispensary (such as a smoking lounge).
The Recreational Cannabis Act sets tax rates on both wholesale transactions by cultivators and retail sales by dispensaries. It also authorizes counties and municipalities to impose local taxes on retail sales up to 3%.
The Village Board referred this matter to the Plan Commission for a public hearing on July 23, 2019 and the Plan Commission held the hearing on August 26, 2019 at the Civic Center. Next the Plan Commission is expected to make a recommendation to the Village Board on whether or not the sale of recreational cannabis will be prohibited or allowed, and what process will be utilized and in what locations. The Plan Commission concluded public testimony and continued the matter to their September 23rd meeting. Following a recommendation from the Plan Commission, the matter will be reviewed by the Village Board at an upcoming Village Board meeting.