On June 25, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making Illinois the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis sale and use. The Act provides for the State licensure of a variety of adult-use cannabis business establishments, preserves the legalization of medical cannabis and includes a provision allowing "home grow" cannabis by medical cannabis program participants only. Recreational marijuana use by adults 21 and over will become legal on January 1, 2020. Municipalities may not restrict the private consumption of cannabis as authorized by the Act. The Act does however prohibit the use of cannabis in public places, schools and child care facilities among other locations. Municipalities may adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate possession and public consumption of cannabis so long as the regulations and penalties are consistent with the Act.
The State of Illinois is allowing municipalities to decide whether to prohibit recreational cannabis businesses from locating in their communities or to allow these type of uses subject to local zoning restrictions. In addition to granting or restricting the authority of adult-use recreational dispensaries, municipalities have the option of authorizing on-site consumption of cannabis (i.e. - cannabis cafes / smoke lounges), as well as the co-location of craft growers, infusers and cultivation centers.
If the Village were to allow the possibility of a recreational cannabis dispensary, the Village could further regulate it by:
- Restricting the zoning districts that such a dispensary may operate in (i.e. - only in the industrial zoning district).
- Restricting the hours of operation.
- Regulating the proximity to other land uses like schools, parks, houses of worship, child care facilities, etc.
- Capping on the number of adult-use recreational dispensaries allowed in Gurnee.
Municipalities, by ordinance, may impose a Municipal Cannabis Retailers’ Occupation Tax on adult-use cannabis products of up to 3% of the purchase price, in .25% increments. The taxes imposed under this Act shall be in addition to all other occupation, privilege or excise taxes imposed by the State of Illinois or by any unit of local government, such as sales tax. The legalization of adult cannabis also includes a new source of Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) dollars. A portion of the Cannabis Regulation Fund revenues (8% of deposits) will go to local governments through LGDF based on population which can be used to fund crime prevention programs, training and interdiction efforts. The Cannabis Regulation Fund is derived from moneys collected from state taxes, license fees and other amounts required to be transferred into the Fund. Estimates indicate a single dispensary could generate around $300,000 a year for a community between local taxation and additional LGDF revenue.