ST. CHARLES – The operator of the only medical marijuana dispensary in the city wants to sell recreational marijuana as well at the same location.
Healthway Services of West Illinois, LLC., which operates Zen Leaf at 3714 Illinois Ave. in St. Charles, has filed an application to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary at its current location. Speaking on behalf of Zen Leaf, Anthony Marsico had previously told aldermen that state law allows an additional dispensary that will be only recreational
"They are allowing us to have dual use out of the same location," Marsico had said.
Zen Leaf is in the city's M-2 limited manufacturing district. Last month, aldermen voted 6-3 to allow recreational dispensaries as a special use in the community business and regional business zoning districts, meaning they would be located away from the city's downtown. In addition, they would have to be located at least 250 feet away from a school, day care facility, church or residential uses.
According to Rita Tungare, the city's director of community and economic development, consideration of the M-2 district for recreational dispensaries was not included in the general amendment application or published legal notice and therefore the council could not incorporate changes to the M-2 district within the ordinance aldermen approved. However, she said if there was an interest in allowing the use in the M-2 district that Zen Leaf could file an application.
A public hearing on Zen Leaf's application to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in the City Council chambers in the St. Charles Municipal Building at 2 East Main St. in downtown St. Charles.
Beginning Jan. 1, the state will allow Illinois residents 21 and older to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana per Illinois resident. Residents also will be able to possess 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and up to 500 milligrams of THC – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation – contained in a cannabis-infused product. Nonresidents can possess half those amounts.
Registered medical marijuana patients will be allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants in their home and possess more than 30 grams of cannabis if it is grown and secured in their residence under certain conditions.
Two dispensaries could be located in the city – one on the east side and one on the west side of the Fox River. In addition, one of the dispensaries must have a minimum of one year's experience operating a medical marijuana dispensary in St. Charles. The second dispensary must have a minimum of one year's experience operating a medical marijuana dispensary within the state of Illinois, but not necessarily in St. Charles.
On-premise consumption lounges and all other types of recreational marijuana uses would not be permitted.