Medical marijuana dispensary interested in Woodstock

WOODSTOCK – A Crystal Lake-based company wants to bring to Woodstock what likely would be McHenry County's only medical marijuana dispensary.

To do it, 4500 NW Highway LLC needs the Woodstock City Council to pass two ordinances amending dispensary zoning requirements. The company has cleared one hurdle already, as both variances have been unanimously recommended for approval by the Woodstock Plan Commission.

City Council approval wouldn't guarantee the opening of the dispensary, which would be located at 2300-2312 S. Eastwood Drive. It ultimately will earn or be denied its license by the state.

"It means that they have met the local requirements and have local approval, which is something that the state would require before giving them a state license," Planning and Zoning Administrator Jim Kastner said.

The proposed dispensary would serve an estimated 10 to 12 people a day. Because Illinois is only allowing 60 licensed locations across the state – based on population density – it likely would be the only one in McHenry County.

City Council members would have to amend the regulations they set on dispensaries last fall in order to accept the proposal. For one, the council would have to allow the dispensary to locate in the M1 light industrial district, whereas it had previously stipulated that dispensaries must be in a general business district, service and retail district or shopping center district.

It also would need to pass a special-use permit for the dispensary because the location is within 1,000 feet from two public parks.

The first is off Pond Point Road, east of Route 47. The site is separated from the proposed dispensary site by the highway and wetlands, Kastner said.

The Davis Road Soccer Complex sits on land about 990 feet away, although the fields are well outside the 1,000-foot requirement, Kastner said.

He said plan commission members believed the lack of accessibility from the parks to the dispensary qualified the dispensary for the special use.

"They are physically not real easy to get to from one site to the other," Kastner said.

All things considered, Kastner called the location a good spot.

"It's accessible to people who need that medication," he said.

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