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Medical Marijuana in Oak Park: Commission to Decide on Restrictions for Potential Dispensing Sites

There are a few locations in Oak Park that would qualify as potential dispensing sites for medical marijuana, but village staff recommends zoning changes to add further restrictions.

Red rectangles represent locations that would qualify as a marijuana dispensing site in Oak Park. Credit: Courtesy of the Village of Oak Park
Red rectangles represent locations that would qualify as a marijuana dispensing site in Oak Park. Credit: Courtesy of the Village of Oak Park
Where could a medical marijuana distribution site open in Oak Park?

Oak Park's Plan Commission will be tasked with determining an answer and reviewing a zoning ordinance to determine what restrictions the village should place on potential locations for the distribution of medical marijuana. 

The Illinois Legislature adopted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, effective Jan. 1, authorizing the medical use of marijuana and the establishment 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensing sites across the state, according to a village staff memo. 

While the act's regulations on cultivation sites eliminate Oak Park as a potential location, there area few areas that could qualify as a dispensing site, according to the memo. (See map above)

Per the act, dispensing sites cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, daycare center or home, group daycare home or childcare center. The act also prohibits dispensing out of a home or a residential area. 

Village staff is recommending an ordinance further limits the placement of dispensing sites to the village's hospital district and the commercial district, which would make Harlem Avenue and Madison Street the only qualifying location, Village Planner Craig Failor said Monday.

Failor told board members staff is also recommending that dispensing sites are prohibited from perimeter overlay districts. 

"It is very limited in where they could go," Failor said. "...But according to the act, we do have to allow them in the community in some capacity."

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