Adult Use Cannabis FAQ's

On June 25, 2019 Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) into law. The CRTA goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This law legalizes and regulates the production, consumption, and sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois.

The CRTA allows Illinois residents over the age of 21 to possess and privately use recreational cannabis in limited quantities; however, use of cannabis in public places is prohibited. The State of Illinois legalized the production, consumption, and sale of medical cannabis in Illinois as of January 1, 2014.

The Village Board held a public workshop on the legislation on October 8, 2019, in which general provisions of the bill were discussed along with how it would impact Lemont and approaches to dealing with these impacts, and opportunities for regulation. The prepared staff meeting agenda packet, the PowerPoint presentation and other resources regarding the legislation can be obtained at the following links:

Along with the impacts of the legislation on the community, the Village's ability to regulate impacts of the act were discussed. While the Village may not prohibit responsible use of cannabis within the community, the bill does not prevent units of local government from enacting reasonable zoning ordinances regulating and/or taxing of cannabis business establishments that may locate within Lemont, or prohibiting establishments entirely.

Many towns in Illinois, including our neighbors, are going through the process of regulating/zoning the business establishments that may locate within their respective towns in advance of the January 1, 2020 implementation of the act. After discussion at the workshop and hearing input from those in attendance, the Village Board directed staff/legal to prepare amendments to the Village's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to allow cannabis establishments in certain business districts, generally on the periphery of town and away from schools, and subject to meeting certain criteria and going through a review process similar to liquor establishments. As with any change to the Village's UDO, the new provisions go through a review by the Planning & Zoning Commission, and Committee of the Whole before approval by the Village Board. It's expected that the zoning hearing on the proposed changes to the code will take place at the November 6 Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting. Recommendation will then be heard by the Committee of the Whole on November 18.

Q.1 Can the consumption/possession of cannabis be banned by a local municipality like Lemont?
 R No, municipalities cannot ban or override the CRTA. However, they can enforce related local ordinances consistent with the Act, such as violations for consumption in public places, schools, etc.
 Q.2 Who can legally purchase and consume cannabis? 
 R As a result of the new State legislation, the consumption of cannabis as of January 1, 2020, will be treated similarly to that of the consumption of alcohol with any Illinois resident, or non-resident, 21 or over, now being able to purchase and consume cannabis.
 Q.3 How much cannabis may an individual possess? 
 R Illinois residents may possess up to:
  • 30 grams, or just over one ounce of "flower"
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
  • 500 milligrams of THC - the chemical that makes users high - in a cannabis infused product such as dummies, candy, other consumable products (referred to as "edibles"), or tinctures, and lotions
  • Non-Illinois residents may legally possess up to 1/2 of these amounts
 Q.4 What regulatory abilities, if any, do business owners and landlords have?
 R Any person, business, public entity, or landlord may prohibit the use of cannabis on private property.
 Q.5 What is allowed under the Home Grow provision?
 R Home Grow Cannabis will be limited to authorized medical cannabis participants and is limited to five plants.
 Q.6 Does the state have any restrictions on where a facility can locate and can the Village make location more restrictive than the State rules?
 R The only provision in the state law is that dispensaries cannot locate within 1,500 feet from one another. The Village has the ability to put into place stricter rules on where they can locate based on zoning and other locational factors.
 Q.7 What does the law allow municipalities to do?
 R The CRTA allows Illinois municipalities to choose whether they will allow ("opt-in") or prohibit ("opt out") the local retail sale of adult-use cannabis by businesses within their jurisdiction.
 Q.8 The choice to opt out
 R Municipalities may choose to opt out, or prohibit, adult-use cannabis businesses. If a municipality chooses to opt out, it may adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate the possession, public consumption, cultivation, growing, processing, dispensing, and transporting of adult-use cannabis as long as the regulations and penalties are consistent with the CRTA.
 Q.9 If the Village opts out, does that mean lawful cannabis use within the Village can be prohibited?
 R No. "Opting out" only refers to the location of facilities within the Village limits. The Village cannot prohibit the lawful use, transportation or storing of cannabis.
 Q.10 Are there other cannabis facilities besides dispensaries that could locate in Lemont? 
 R Along with dispensaries, the state law allows for cultivators, infusers, craft grows, transporters and on premise consumption. The Village has the ability to regulate all of these components as well.
Q.11  Is there a choice for Lemont to opt in?
 R Municipalities may choose to opt in or permit adult-use cannabis businesses. By opting in, municipalities may enact zoning ordinances and regulations that designate the time, place, manner and number of cannabis business operations. This would also include requiring minimum distances, not only between cannabis business location, but also between cannabis business locations and certain types of other businesses throughout the municipality. Additionally, municipalities have authority over whether on premise use is allowed.

In addition, municipalities that opt in may impose a Municipal Purchase Excise Tax on adult-use cannabis products of up to 3% of the purchase price. The taxes imposed under the CRTA are in addition to all other taxes imposed by the municipality and the State of Illinois. 
 Q.12 What type of revenue stream can the Village expect if a facility locates within Village limits? Are there any restrictions on how the revenue can be spent?
 R Being a brand new industry, projecting revenue is difficult. Experts are projecting anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 per year to the municipality in which a dispensary locates.

While there is no state law limiting how revenues from cannabis sales can be spent, the Board discussed conceptually at the workshop that money should be dedicated to payments toward debt and/or pension contributions.
 Q.13 If a facility does not locate within Village limits, is there any revenue sharing from the state?
 R The majority of the taxes on cannabis sales will go directly to the state. There is a small component that will be shared to municipalities via population.
 Q.14 Does the Village have to act at all or can it wait to see what happens?
 R There is no requirement that a municipality acts at all.  However, if there is no action prohibiting or allowing subject to zoning regulations, it's our understanding of the law that a facility could locate anywhere within the Village. Putting regulations in place ensures the establishments are directed to districts which are most appropriate.
 Q.15 If the Village allows cannabis establishments in certain zoning districts, what are the chances a facility will locate in Lemont?
 R The location of the establishments in Lemont remains to be seen. Companies are evaluating sites against one another and will likely make decisions based on being allowed to locate and other decisions similar to retail.
 Q.16 What are the next steps in the Village's decision making process and how can I learn more about the issue? 
 R The Planning & Zoning Commission will be reviewing proposed changes to the Village's UDO at their November 6 meeting. After this meeting, the Village Board Committee of the Whole will review the PZC's recommendations at their November 18 meeting.

Additional questions with responses will be added to this web page along with other information regarding the adult use cannabis legislation as it becomes available.  If you have any additional questions you can contact the Village at 630-257-1590 or vlemont@lemont.il.us