Des Plaines Approves Allowing Cannabis Dispensaries – Journal & Topics Newspapers Online

A relaxation in the regulation of cannabis dispensaries in Des Plaines was approved at Monday night’s city council meeting which paves the way for those businesses to soon open in the city.

Aldermen voted 6 to 0 to permit the city’s staff to review and accept or deny dispensary applications in most Commercially-zoned areas throughout the city with the exception of the downtown area. 

While there are no dispensaries currently operating in Des Plaines, some interest in doing so has been expressed. Many towns surrounding Des Plaines allow dispensaries where recreational cannabis-related products are sold.

Adult-use recreational cannabis has been legal to purchase for individuals 21 years of age or older in Illinois since Jan. 1, 2020. While Des Plaines at about that time decided to allow cannabis dispensaries to operate locally, it put into place various zoning rules to regulate their locations and operations. Also at that time, the city decided to require all cannabis dispensaries looking to operate in the city to go through a Conditional Use process that would require a public hearing and the likely placement of certain conditions on the applicants.

Monday night, aldermen lifted the Conditional Use requirement except for the downtown area, where more businesses are located in a dense area than in most other parts of Des Plaines.

Also decided Monday night was the elimination of a previous requirement that dispensaries be located at least 1500 feet from each other. As long as applicants meet the zoning regulations, they can set up dispensaries in the city’s C-3, C-4, and with the Conditional Use process, C-5 districts. 

What remains in place are city requirements that dispensaries be located a minimum of 500 feet from pre-existing schools, houses of worship and commercial day care centers, and that on-site consumption not be allowed.

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