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Crystal Lake to vote on restrictions to medical marijuana operations

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 1:47 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014 10:59 p.m. CST

CRYSTAL LAKE – The Crystal Lake City Council is set to vote on a policy Tuesday to restrict where potential cannabis cultivation and dispensary centers could be located.

Following in the footsteps of municipalities such as Woodstock, Cary and Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake officials will look to minimize where a cannabis cultivation center or dispensary could operate, simultaneously lessening the chance of either business coming to the city.

Chances of landing a cultivation center already are slim as state law mandates there can be only one center in each of the 22 state police districts. McHenry County shares a police district with DeKalb, DuPage, Kane and Lake counties.

"In general I don't think your going to see a lot of differences," said James Richter, planning and economic development manager for Crystal Lake, about municipal policies. "State law is pretty clear."

Under state law, marijuana dispensaries cannot be placed within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or child care facility. Dispensaries also can't be placed in residential-zoned areas or within a dwelling unit.

Cultivation centers cannot be placed within 2,500 feet of schools, child care facilities or any residential area. Additionally, Crystal Lake's proposal would require cultivation centers to be placed 50 feet away from all property lines.

The proposal also calls for strict security, with 24-hour video surveillance at cultivation centers that can be accessed by Crystal Lake Police on secured web portals at all times. A center would also need to be enclosed by a high fence and security personnel would be required.

Dispensaries would also require tight security and conservative signage. They would be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. but could not have drive-through services.

RIchter said either operation would be located in manufacturing or agricultural districts.

"There is no indication of when we might know if we get one," Richter said of the cannabis businesses. "There can only be 60 dispensaries and they have to be geographically dispersed to allow patients reasonable access so there is not going to be a lot."

Only cardholders for a medical prescription, designated caregivers and staff members would be allowed to enter dispensaries.

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