DIXON – The City Council unanimously approved regulations Monday for recreational marijuana businesses.
The Plan Commission also made a unanimous recommendation last month for the city to move forward with the zoning changes, and they went to the council for a final vote.
All four council members present voted yes; Mayor Li Arellano Jr. is on Army Reserves duty overseas and did not participate.
The zoning rules lay out different restrictions for marijuana dispensaries and growing centers, including needing to apply for a license from the city in addition to the state. The council also amended city code to reflect upcoming enforcement changes from the state law that makes recreational marijuana legal for those 21 and older starting Jan. 1.
According to the zoning rules, dispensary development will be a permitted use in the general business district and the central business district, but business owners would need a special-use permit to build in a limited neighborhood business district, business park or manufacturing district.
It will be a permitted use for a cultivation center, craft grower, processing or transporting organization to be in the industrial park or manufacturing district.
The council and the Plan Commission have heard presentations about interest in bringing a dispensary to Dixon in recent months from April Glosser, CEO of Thrive Market Intelligence management consulting agency in Rochelle.
Medical dispensaries will have the first chance to expand to recreational marijuana sales, and the state will award licenses for new recreational dispensaries in May. Three of 75 licenses will be granted in the northwest Illinois region – Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson and Whiteside counties.
Glosser has said she’s confident in the company’s application for a state license for a dispensary, and the potential location would be at the former US Bank building at 98 S. Galena Ave. with the goal of driving more traffic downtown.
No marijuana business will be allowed in or within 100 feet of a residential area, as well as within 100 feet of a school, day care center, park, recreation center, library or church, according to the ordinance. Also, two dispensaries or two cultivation centers will not be allowed within 1,500 feet of one another.
The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.