Petitions to build medical marijuana dispensaries in Buffalo Grove and Palatine have hit a dead end.
This month, the Palatine Village Council voted down a proposal for a facility at 400 S. Vermont St., while another proposal at 1477 Barclay Blvd. in Buffalo Grove has been suspended, officials said.
The rejected business plan for the Palatine proposal was led by Northwest Medical Distribution. The marijuana dispensary was backed by local lawyer, John P. McCabe, who could not be reached for comment.
The proposal faced strong community opposition, including from Deer Grove Covenant Church, which is near the targeted site. Church officials said they were concerned that the congregation’s children and youth members would be exposed to the drug. They also raised issues including security and parking.
Reid Ottesen, Palatine’s village manager, said there have been no other filings for a dispensary so far.
“I know there’s at least one other user who had picked up application material,” Ottesen said.
In Buffalo Grove, Midwest Releaf had presented its business plan for a conceptual review by the Village Board in August. The proposal was headed to the planning commission for approval but the developers have since backed away from it, officials said.
“They didn’t give us a reason why they were doing that. They just decided to suspend the process for right now in Buffalo Grove,” said Jennifer Maltas, deputy village manager. “We don’t know if it will come back or not.”
The Gurnee company’s owner, Curt Innes, could not be reached for comment.
Business owners were able to apply through Monday to grow or sell medical marijuana. A total of 21 cultivation centers and up to 60 dispensaries statewide can be approved based on a merit system that rates each plan according to security, the business plan and other factors.
Having local zoning approval for such a facility is not required at the time of the application, although it no doubt helps the proposal, according to state officials.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is handling the state program, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Dispensaries must be 1,000 feet from schools and day care centers and not located in residential areas. Growing centers must be at least 2,500 feet from schools, day care centers and residentially zoned areas.
Copyright © 2014, Chicago Tribune
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