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Local

St. Charles aldermen continue to discuss whether to allow Zen Leaf to sell recreational marijuana at current location

Will discuss again at March 9 meeting

The St. Charles City Council's Planning and Development Committee will continue to discuss next month whether Zen Leaf should be able to sell recreational marijuana along with medical marijuana at its dispensary at 3714 Illinois Ave.
The St. Charles City Council's Planning and Development Committee will continue to discuss next month whether Zen Leaf should be able to sell recreational marijuana along with medical marijuana at its dispensary at 3714 Illinois Ave.

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles City Council's Planning and Development Committee will continue to discuss next month whether Zen Leaf should be able to sell recreational marijuana along with medical marijuana at its dispensary at 3714 Illinois Ave.

After briefly discussing the matter at Monday's committee meeting, aldermen decided to continue discussion until their next meeting on March 9

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has given Zen Leaf a license to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary. However, Zen Leaf still needs approval from the city to do so at the location.

In December, plan commissioners voted 5-4 to recommend to the St. Charles City Council that recreational marijuana dispensaries be added as a special use in the M-2 limited manufacturing district. They also voted 5-4 to recommend to the City Council that Healthway Services of West Illinois, which operates Zen Leaf, be given special-use approval to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary at its location.

Zen Leaf is the city's only medical marijuana dispensary and has been in operation since 2015. As part of their approval, plan commissioners recommended that Zen Leaf upgrade its parking lot lighting. They also stipulated that Zen Leaf needs to install additional security cameras to monitor the parking lot and post additional signs regarding prohibition of on-site consumption.

As part of the city's rules, recreational marijuana dispensaries have to be located at least 250 feet away from a school, day care facility, church or residential uses. St. Charles planner Ellen Johnson said Beth Fowler School of Dance, which is located near Zen Leaf, would not fit the definition of a school under the city's ordinance.

The dance studio is located at 3720 Illinois Ave.

"That would be considered potentially a specialized instructional school," Johnson has said.

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