Recreational Cannabis Information

Background

On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) which legalizes the sale, possession, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes in limited quantities by persons 21 years and older, beginning January 1, 2020.

As with medical cannabis, the Recreational Cannabis Act provides a limited number of licenses that the State will issue for cultivation centers and dispensaries. It is anticipated that the majority of the existing 55 medical cannabis facilities in the state will apply for “early approval” licenses to allow those dispensaries to serve both medical and recreational cannabis markets starting January 1, 2020. In State Police District 34 (DuPage County), there are currently three licensed medical dispensaries, one in Naperville and two in Addison. In addition to the one recreational license that will be available for existing medical cannabis distributers to have at their existing location, those business owners may apply also for a “secondary site” license which could be offsite elsewhere in the region. If allowed, one of these secondary sites may choose to locate in Glen Ellyn and could potentially start operation as early as January 1, 2020. After that, the State will issue licenses on a staggered basis through 2022. Municipalities may regulate or ban cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction but have no control over the licensing process.

The Village of Glen Ellyn may prohibit or significantly limit the location of recreational cannabis businesses by ordinance. The Recreational Cannabis Act itself prohibits a new cannabis dispensary from locating within 1,500 feet of another dispensary. If the Village chooses to permit recreational cannabis dispensaries within its borders, then it may designate the zoning districts within which cannabis businesses may be allowed as a permitted or special use and enact reasonable zoning regulations such as standards for off-street parking, signs, separation from residential or other sensitive uses, and hours of operation, among other things. In addition, the Act gives the Village the ability to decide if they wish to allow other kinds of cannabis businesses (cultivation, distribution centers, etc.) and if the use of cannabis will be allowed at the dispensary (such as a smoking lounge).

The Recreational Cannabis Act sets tax rates on both wholesale transactions by cultivators and retail sales by dispensaries. It also authorizes counties and municipalities to impose local taxes on retail sales including an optional tax up to 3%.

Village staff believe the public should have abundant opportunity for comment and access to information. To this end, a separate webpage was created on the Village website offering information about the CRTA and how it affects the Village.  A link to this webpage was provided in the Village e-newsletter and distributed on the Village’s social media pages. Village staff will also use these channels to promote the meetings in which the Village’s approach to recreational cannabis will be discussed. 

History/Process

  • August 19, 2019 the Village Board discussed the new state legislation passed by Governor Pritzker at a Village Board workshop meeting. The Village Board directed staff to gather more information related to potential benefits and impacts of allowing adult-use cannabis business establishments within the Village.
  • September 9, 2019 the Village Board voted to approve Resolution No. 19-12 establishing that the Village Zoning Code does not currently address adult-use cannabis businesses and directed staff to draft potential amendments for consideration within 90 days.
  • October 10, 2019 the Plan Commission reviewed potential text amendments that could be adopted if the Village Board determined that Glen Ellyn should allow cannabis retail establishments within the Village limits. There were several members of the public in attendance of which 16 spoke; 7 spoke in favor of allowing recreational cannabis sales in the Village, 7 spoke against and 2 were neutral. No members of the public specifically commented on the proposed text amendments. The Plan Commission recommended approval of the proposed text amendments by a vote of six (6) “yes” and two (2) “no”. The consensus of the Plan Commission was that the Village should wait until more data becomes available from other communities that have opted to allow the sale of recreational cannabis in their jurisdictions. The Commission felt that a referendum might also be appropriate to bring further confidence that the right choice for the community is made. 
  • October 28, 2019 the Village Board reviewed the draft text amendments, considered the Plan Commission’s recommendation and heard public comment on the topic. The Village Board determined that more information is needed before a decision can be made and a motion was put forth to put a moratorium on the sale of cannabis within the Corporate Limits of Glen Ellyn. 
  • November 12, 2019 the Village Board adopted Ordinance No. 6732 establishing a moratorium on cannabis business establishments until October 1, 2020.
  • August 24, 2020 the Village Board amended Ordinance No. 6732 through the adoption of Ordinance 6799 which extended the moratorium on cannabis business establishments until December 15, 2020 so that the results on the referendum could be received prior to further consideration by the Village Board on the topic.
  • November 3, 2020 a referendum was placed on the General Election Ballot requesting voter preference on whether Glen Ellyn should allow the sale of adult-use cannabis within the Village limits. 
  • December 7, 2020 the Village Board discussed the results of the referendum. With a slight majority of residents voting in favor (51.25%) of the Village allowing the sale of recreational cannabis within Glen Ellyn, staff was directed to bring forward text amendments to allow adult-use cannabis dispensaries. 
  • December 14, 2020 the Village Board voted to extend the moratorium ordinance on accepting or approving applications for recreational cannabis dispensaries in Glen Ellyn until July 1, 2021. The moratorium ordinance will maintain the status quo by prohibiting recreational cannabis businesses in Glen Ellyn. The Village Board will continue to weigh this decision and will revisit the topic prior to July 2021.

  • June 21, 2021 the Village Board voted to extend the Moratorium Ordinance on accepting or approving applications for recreational cannabis dispensaries in Glen Ellyn until September 28, 2021. This extension will allow for additional review time for new Village Board members. The Village Board will continue to weigh this decision and will revisit the topic in September 2021.

2020 Advisory Referendum Question

November 3, 2020 General Election ballot. The question asked residents, “Shall the Village permit the sale of recreational cannabis within Village limits?”

The cannabis referendum question results are as follows:

16,501 Total Ballots Cast

Yes Votes – 8,457 (51.25%)

No Votes – 8,044 (48.75%)

The results of an advisory referendum is non-binding, and governing bodies are not required to act in accordance with the majority opinion.

Press Releases/Updates

  • April 27, 2020: At the Village Board meeting on Monday, April 27, the Board approved the language for an Advisory Referendum Question that will be added to the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot. The question will ask residents, "Shall the Village permit the sale of recreational cannabis within Village limits?"
  • November 14, 2019: Glen Ellyn Village Board Votes to Impose a Moratorium Ordinance on Recreational Cannabis
  • October 30, 2019: Glen Ellyn Village Board To Revisit Final Recreational Cannabis Decision in 2020.

Informational Documents

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