Mount Carroll council passes marijuana zoning

MOUNT CARROLL – City officials took a step closer on Dec. 19 for potential marijuana growers or sellers to set up shop in Carroll County's seat.

Mount Carroll aldermen voted 6-0 to approve an ordinance to set zoning rules for where dispensaries and related businesses could operate. They also approved a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sold within the city.

According to the zoning ordinance, no marijuana business will be allowed in or within 250 feet of a residential area, as well as within 300 feet of a public or private school, day care center, day care home or residential care home. Dispensaries could be located with a craft grower or infusing organization.

Dispensary development will be a permitted use in the highway and auto and downtown commercial districts. Infusing, processing, and transporting organizations also will be permitted in the downtown, and the general industrial districts, while craft growers will only be permitted in the general industrial district.

Businesses would still have to get licenses from the state. Medical dispensaries will have the first chance to expand to recreational marijuana sales, and the state will award licenses for new recreational dispensaries in May. Three of 75 licenses will be granted in the northwest Illinois region – Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson and Whiteside counties.

No marijuana businesses have approached the city yet about moving in, and the ordinances are still being worked on, City Clerk Julie Cuckler said Dec. 11.

"It's a working situation. We're building in what we know we can do," Cuckler said.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois Jan. 1 for those 21 and older.

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