Cary approves medical marijuana zoning rules

CARY – If a medical marijuana dispensary opens in Cary, it will be allowed to operate in a manufacturing district or in most business districts as a conditional use.

The Village Board this week approved the zoning districts where a medical marijuana dispensary would be allowed, if one operated in the municipality.

State law requires medical marijuana dispensaries be placed at least 1,000 feet from a school, day care or child care facility.

Dispensaries also can’t be placed in residential-zoned areas or within a dwelling unit.

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act limits the amount of dispensaries around the state to 60 locations.

The village’s Board of Zoning, Planning and Appeals initially recommended that dispensaries only be allowed in manufacturing districts.

The Village Board decided to allow dispensaries in B-1, B-2, B-3 and B-4 business districts as well.

Trustee Jeff Kraus pushed to allow a dispensary in the business districts.

“We’re not talking about back alleys or street corners,” Kraus said. “We’re talking about patients with legitimate prescriptions ... from a medical doctor. Restricting it to a manufacturing area perpetuates it as dark and seedy.”

Cary will require a dispensary to obtain a conditional use permit, which would have to be approved by the Village Board to make sure the use fits in with adjacent uses, said Director of Community and Economic Development Chris Stilling.

Under state law, cultivation centers cannot be placed within 2,500 feet of schools and child care facilities or any residential area. There is no place in the village that meets that minimum distance requirement, so no cultivation center can be located in Cary, according to village documents.

Village Board members also approved allowing staff to purchase up to $50,000 more worth of road salt.

The village has already spent about $104,000 for slightly more than 1,900 tons of road salt, according to village documents.

The village has paid $54.48 per ton of salt, and the price is remaining stable for the municipality, said Village Administrator Chris Clark.

Clark added he is unsure how long the price will remain.

“For now, we’re lucky to have it,” he said.

Clark said the village has enough salt for six or seven more storms. He added that public works crews are focusing on salting on hills, intersections and slippery spots around town in order to conserve salt.

“Crews are working extremely hard,” Clark said. “Whenever asked, they’re putting their best effort out there.”

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