AURORA — A Chicago businessman want to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Aurora.Andrew Glatz, managing broker of Crown Height Realty, confirmed Friday that Aurora is one suburban town in which he plans to open a dispensary. Glatz has been in communication with city officials but has not yet submitted a formal proposal to the city, he said.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.While Glatz said that the city’s rules are “very restrictive,” he said that Aurora would be a great location to set up shop because of the city’s proximity to the I-88 corridor. Glatz hopes to open five dispensaries in suburban towns, including Joliet, he said.“This business will be a destination location. Patients will drive two hours to get their medicine,” he said. “I would love to locate in Aurora.”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.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.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.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. Aurora approved the zoning rules in July.Dispensaries will also not be allowed to display marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia on signage and products can not be visible from outside the store. Drive-through services are also prohibited.Facility hours are limited to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.Right now, Glatz is clarifying city rules to see where he might be able to locate a dispensary. He believes that he will apply for a license sometime in the beginning of September.“The whole process is a huge, huge challenge, but I’d like to move forward as soon as possible,” Glatz said.Glatz declined to confirm the name of his business or his partner, who he says operates medical marijuana dispensaries in California.Earlier this month, Aurora Director of Communications Clayton Muhammad said that the city’s Planning and Zoning department has fielded a dozen calls from individuals inquiring about the city’s process and rules. No formal proposals had been received at that time, he said.Because of the state’s location requirements, cultivation centers would be limited to the far northwest, far northeast and far southeast portions of Aurora, Muhammad said. Only one medical cannabis cultivation center will be permitted in each of the state’s 22 police districts, according to state rules.Dispensing and growing licenses are issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.Tags: Marijuana [embedded content]
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