A medical marijuana dispensary could come to Woodstock if the City Council approves a special-use permit for the facility.
A Crystal Lake-based company called 4500 NW Highway LLC is looking to open a dispensary in a building on the city’s south side at 2300-2312 S. Eastwood Drive.
“We didn’t anticipate the interest in Woodstock that we’re hearing [from dispensary owners],” said Jim Kastner, the city’s planning and zoning administrator. “We think that because Woodstock was one of the first communities to establish local regulations, that’s one reason we’re seeing the interest.”
The city’s ordinance, approved in November, stipulates medical marijuana dispensaries be located at least 1,000 feet from public or private parks, but the proposed dispensary would sit about 730 feet from a park in the Cobblestone townhomes subdivision and about 990 feet from the edge of the Davis Road Soccer Complex — although it would be full 1,800 feet from the soccer fields themselves.
The Plan Commission voted 7-0 July 24 to recommend granting the company a variance in order to open on the property, which Kastner said is not easily accessible from either park.
“We think … the location of the parks relative to the dispensary is such that it won’t have any negative impact,” Kastner said. “… These parks are not something where you can just walk down the road and get to them.”
The dispensary expects to serve about 10 to 12 patients per day, Kastner said.
The company also will need a variance because the property is zoned for light manufacturing, which is not approved for dispensaries under the current ordinance. The City Council is expected to vote on the issue at its Tuesday, Aug. 19, meeting.
In 2013, Illinois approved the use of medical marijuana by patients with specific medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV and multiple sclerosis. The law requires patients have a prescription from a doctor, among other restrictions.
Also included in the law are limits on the number and locations of cultivation centers and dispensaries throughout Illinois. Twenty-two marijuana growing areas — one per state police district — will be permitted in the state. Sixty dispensaries, which will sell medical marijuana to registered patients, will be permitted to open.
The location of those dispensaries will be regulated based on population density. Kastner said that makes it unlikely there will be another dispensary in the immediate area.
“I think if the City Council approves this … as far as population goes, I don’t think McHenry County will have another dispensary,” Kastner said.
In July, a legislative committee approved the rules for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health said the state likely will begin accepting applications from prospective medical marijuana users, growers and sellers in late September.
Mitch Weisz, owner of 4500 NW Highway LLC, was unavailable for comment.
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