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Lakewood moves to restrict potential medical marijuana facilities

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 2:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 11:14 p.m. CDT

LAKEWOOD – In the slim chance Lakewood is selected as one of the towns to house medical marijuana facilities, the Village Board is planning to limit where they could operate.

The board will vote on an ordinance Tuesday to limit a potential dispensary to a B2 General Business District and a cultivation center to an agriculture district. Under state law, dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or child care facility while cultivation centers cannot be within 2,500 feet of the same areas.

Both also are prohibited from operating in a residentially zoned area.

Village President Erin Smith said because of Lakewood’s small population, the state is unlikely to choose the village to hold one of the 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries allowed under law, noting a municipality such as Crystal Lake or McHenry would be more likely because of higher traffic.

But Smith said the village wanted to follow the lead of other surrounding communities such as Lake in the Hills and Cary and be proactive on the issue.

“Quite frankly, it’s a precautionary measure. We wanted to make sure we were ahead of it,” Smith said. “We just decided it was better to be safe than sorry.”

The ordinance’s primary purpose is to prohibit a potential dispensary from operating at the otherwise eligible neighborhood business zone on the northwest corner of RedTail Drive and Ackman Road.

A potential dispensary would have operated near some commercial businesses, close to neighborhoods and next to some of the RedTail Golf Club in that situation. Instead, any dispensary or cultivation center would be near each other between Route 47 and Swanson Road.

Smith said the vote is a formality at this point and expects there to be little or no discussion on the topic and unanimous approval for the additional restrictions.

“The state has already done a good job of putting regulations in place for us,” Smith said. “Nonetheless, we wanted to make sure we were thorough.”

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