Evergreen officials ready to game plan where medical marijuana will be sold

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Evergreen Park officials Monday took the first step toward controlling the location of clinics that distribute marijuana for medical purposes.

Photo by Jeff Vorva. Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton wants to limit where medical marijuana can be sold in his community.Photo by Jeff Vorva. Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton wants to limit where medical marijuana can be sold in his community.Trustees approved a resolution that “authorizes a moratorium on the establishment of medical cannabis facilities and the issuance of building permits or zoning certificates of compliance for construction or operation of such uses in the village.”

Mayor Jim Sexton said the resolution is designed to buy the village time until the village board decides on approved locations for medical marijuana facilities that locate on the village in the future.

The village’s zoning board will meet on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Residents are welcome to express their opinions at the hearing, Sexton said. The village board will consider the zoning restrictions proposed by the zoning board, he said.

“You can’t say ‘no’ (to a clinic),” Sexton said. “We can limit where they go.”

For example, he said, a medical marijuana clinic would be best suited for a commercial or medical district, such as Little Company of Mary Hospital. It would not be appropriate in a residential area or near a school, he said.

No clinics have petitioned to locate in the village, the mayor said at the meeting.

Illinois’ new medical marijuana law went medical into effect Jan. 1. The qualifying medical conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, traumatic brain injuries post-concussion syndrome.

Other qualifying medical conditions include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease, lupus and residual limb pain.

The new law does not allow people under 18 to qualify as medical marijuana patients.

Additionally, people with felony drug convictions or who work in certain professions, including law enforcement personnel, firefighters and commercial drivers, are not allowed to participate in the program.

Patients are required to name a state-regulated dispensary from which their designated caregiver will obtain medical marijuana. There will be 60 state-regulated dispensaries across Illinois. Prices will be set by the dispensaries. Dispensaries will be licensed by the state and subject to rules created by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation as well as local zoning laws.