Buffalo Grove Establishes Recreational Cannabis Dispensary Regulations

Resized VBG Village HallOn October 21, 2019, the Buffalo Grove Village Board approved zoning regulations pertaining to recreational cannabis dispensaries, which could potentially be located in the Village. This action follows the State of Illinois’ approval of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which was signed into law by the Illinois Governor in late June. The CRTA will go into effect January 1, 2020 and allows for the use and personal possession of recreational cannabis for individuals 21 years of age and older. 

Pursuant to the CRTA, municipalities cannot ban or override private consumption or possession of recreational cannabis. However, municipalities do have the ability to develop zoning ordinances and regulations that designate the time, place and manner, as well as the number of cannabis business operations permitted within their borders. 

The ordinance approved by the Village Board provides the necessary oversight and restrictions to ensure that recreational cannabis businesses operate in a manner consistent with both State and local regulations. Key points of the approved Buffalo Grove Village Ordinance include:

  • No more than two recreational dispensaries will be allowed in the Village.
  • All owners of cannabis dispensaries who wish to open and operate in Buffalo Grove will be required to go through a public hearing process and obtain special use approval from the Village. 
  • Recreational dispensaries can be located only in certain business districts that have frontages on Milwaukee Avenue, Lake Cook Road or Dundee Road. Recreational dispensaries may also locate in the industrial district.
  • While recreational and/or medical cannabis dispensaries will be allowed as a special use, recreational cultivation centers, craft growers, processors, infusers and cannabis transporting organizations will be prohibited.
  • A 1,000-foot buffer will be established between recreational/medical cannabis facilities and schools, daycare facilities, museums, libraries, substance abuse treatment/counseling centers. Dispensaries cannot be located in a residential area. 
  • The consumption of cannabis on-site at recreational cannabis dispensaries will be strictly prohibited.
  • Access to recreational dispensaries to any individual under the age of 21 will be strictly prohibited.

While recreational cannabis will be legal starting next year, the Village does not currently have any applications on file, or pending, for a recreational dispensary. The Ordinance provides the Village Board with final review and approval authority prior to the opening of any recreational cannabis dispensary. The Village can establish additional conditions for recreational cannabis dispensaries to ensure they operate in a manner consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of the Village. This includes requiring random compliance checks similar to those completed relating to alcohol and tobacco. Furthermore, any dispensary that violates the provisions of the special use ordinance and conditions may be subject to revocation of the Village’s special use approval. 

For additional information and updates, please visit vbg.org/recreationalcannabis.