Fox Lake looks at zoning for proposed medical marijuana dispensaries

FOX LAKE – Medical marijuana dispensaries won't be allowed in Fox Lake's downtown or residential areas, the Village Board decided.

The board voted unanimously to have the zoning change drawn up by the village attorney as the bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Illinois sits on the governor's desk.

Trustee Ron Stochl was absent from the Tuesday meeting.

The state bill would allow up to 60 dispensaries geographically dispersed throughout the state and 22 growing operations, one per State Police district.

Under the proposed zoning change, the dispensaries would be allowed only as a special use in the M-2, or manufacturing, district, which is on Christopher Way and Sayton Road.

"We didn’t want it in the downtown area or a secluded area where the police couldn’t monitor it," Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit said. "We have a small manufacturing area. It’s off the beaten track, and the police can monitor it."

While Schmit doesn't have any opposition to medical marijuana, he wants it to be regulated.

The Plan Commission has been working on what the village would do if a law was passed for several months though Schmit said he doesn't think it's likely Fox Lake will be picked as a site for one of the limited number of dispensaries.

The village wanted to be proactive, Schmit said.

Under the bill, patients with a prescription from a doctor they have an established relationship with and a "debilitating medical condition," including cancer, muscular dystrophy and rheumatoid arthritis, could apply for a license that would allow them or a caregiver to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a two-week period.