Deerfield is ready to entertain applications for a medical marijuana dispensary within the village limits but apprehensive about the possibility.
The Village Board of Trustees approved an ordinance Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting at Village Hall placing more but permissible restrictions on a potential operator than set forth in the state’s law.
Four trustees — Robert Benton, Tom Jester, Barbara Struthers and Robert Nadler — voted for the ordinance while Alan Farkas voted against it and Bill Seiden abstained.
“It will be an interesting ride,” Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said after the roll call.
As mayor, she does not cast a vote unless it is necessary to break a tie.
Rosenthal explained her comment after the meeting saying though the village now has a law, it is entering into uncharted waters where it will have to feel its way should an applicant seek a special use permit to operate in Deerfield.
“For us it is something we have never done before,” Rosenthal said. “As the state mandated we can only take land use into consideration and when an applicant comes to the Plan Commission it will deal with our special use.”
Dispensaries will be limited to parts of the Deerbrook Shopping Center, Cadwell Corners Shopping Center, commercially zoned areas on Waukegan Road between Lake Cook Road and Kates Road, some portions of Pfingsten Road and some areas on Embassy Way south of Lake Cook Road.
The rest of the town is excluded under state requirements which keep the business away from schools, parks, day care centers and residential areas. The new village regulation is keeping dispensaries 500 feet away from parks rather than the state’s permitted 1,000.
Seiden said he had no objection to people using marijuana for medicinal purposes but is concerned about potential problems which could arise. He said he is worried about large amounts of cash used for transactions because federal regulations bar banks from taking deposits from dispensaries. He said he abstained rather than vote no because it is strictly a land use issue.
“It’s illegal under federal statute,” Seiden said. “That concerns me. There are too many potential problems because of all the cash and it’s going to be very expensive.”
Rosenthal said she too was concerned about people with ill intent who may take advantage of the situation but the ordinance has provisions to add security. There is a proviso which requires a potential operator to …Read More