Considering Cannabis: A Guide to Glencoes Discussion About Recreational Cannabis Businesses

Considering Cannabis: A Guide to Glencoes Discussion About Recreational Cannabis Businesses

Phil_KiralyBy Village Manager Phil Kiraly

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act  (the Act) was signed into law by Governor Pritzker this past June, and the sale of recreational cannabis will be legal in Illinois on January 1, 2020. Due to this legislation, cities and villages across the State are working through complex policy, public engagement and legal processes to determine whether to permit sales in their communities, and if so, how these businesses might be regulated locally. While the Act provides a framework regarding who can possess and consume cannabis for recreational purposes, local governments—like the Village of Glencoe—were granted authority to regulate the time and place of  cultivation, processing, and retail sale, and to decide whether to apply a local sales tax.

Because the process for making these decisions varies from community to community, I wanted to take a moment to break down the process Glencoe is undertaking to consider whether to allow recreational cannabis businesses. While no final decisions have been made, following discussion at several Committee of the Whole meetings (detailed below), the Village Board has expressed preliminary interest in allowing some cannabis businesses to potentially operate in the Village, with appropriate regulations and restrictions. This educational and deliberative process has taken place over the last six months and will likely continue over the next several months.

The chart below details the major discussions that have been held as well as those planned for the coming days, specifically highlighting topics of discussion at each meeting. All of the meetings that have already taken place were open to the public. Those meetings that are yet to take place will also be open to the public, including opportunities for public comment and input.


Committee/Commission and Meeting Type:

Topic(s) of Discussion:

More Information:

March 21

Village Board – Committee of the Whole Meeting

General overview of local considerations related to legalization based on draft version of the bill before it was signed into law

March 21 COW Packet

March 21 COW Minutes

Glencoe News Article

State passes Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act – May 2019

June 20

Village Board – Regular Village Board Meeting

A “red flag” resolution to prohibit the opening of any recreational cannabis businesses prior to such businesses either being incorporated into the Village Code or being prohibited; directed a Zoning Code amendment process to prohibit or allow recreational cannabis businesses

Direction/Action: Red flag resolution passed unanimously

Red Flag Memo and Resolution

Glencoe Anchor Article

Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Gov. Pritzker signs Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into Law (P.A. 101-0027) – June 2019

August 15

Village Board – Committee of the Whole

Overview of the Act and local considerations related to zoning, regulation, law enforcement and taxation

Direction/Action: Village Board expressed preliminary interest in allowing cannabis businesses, with a request for more information on potential regulations

August 15 COW Packet

August 15 COW Minutes

August 15 COW Presentation

August 19 Media Release
August 20 Glencoe News Article


September 12

Village Board – Committee of the Whole

Potential commercial zoning districts and regulations, including whether cannabis businesses may be allowed as permitted or special uses (which require additional, individual review before being allowed to operate)

Direction/Action: Consider allowing recreational cannabis businesses, excluding cultivation centers, as special uses in B2 and HF districts; request Zoning Commission to recommend potential zoning code amendments.

September 12 COW Packet

September 12 COW Presentation

Zoning District Map

September 16 Media Release



Next steps…

October 7

Zoning Commission – 1st Public Hearing

Public hearing and discussion regarding proposed zoning considerations, should cannabis businesses be permitted, including which (if any) of the three business districts where businesses may be allowed to operate, hours of operation, distance requirements and appearance. 


Direction/Action: To be determined

Public Hearing Notice

Meeting materials will be released October 2

The Zoning Commission may hold more than one meeting to discuss zoning considerations prior to making a recommendation to the Village Board


Village Board – Village Board Meeting to Consider Zoning Commission Recommendations

Potential topics: Consider Zoning Commission recommendations, hear public comments, determine whether to prohibit or allow cannabis businesses, and if allowed, subject to specific regulations


Direction/Action: To be determined


Not yet available


Village Board – Village Board Meeting

Potential topics: If cannabis businesses are allowed, discussion regarding whether to apply a local tax on cannabis sales


Direction/Action: To be determined

Not yet available

As detailed above, the next step in Glencoe’s review process is for the Zoning Commission to consider potential amendments to the Zoning Code, should recreational cannabis businesses be permitted. A public hearing on this topic is on the Zoning Commission’s agenda on October 7 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall. Specifically, the Zoning Commission will discuss which, if any, of Glencoe’s three business districts should allow recreational cannabis businesses, hours of operation, distance requirements from schools, parks and other public places and appearance restrictions (including things like windows, signage, etc.). View a zoning district map here. Public comment is encouraged on this subject, either in person, or by sharing thoughts via email at info@villageofglencoe.org.

Following the October 7 meeting (and potential subsequent Zoning Commission meetings should they be necessary), the Zoning Commission will make a set of recommendations to the Village Board for consideration regarding potential amendments to the Zoning Code.

We understand this is a complicated topic, and that residents may be concerned about what all this means. The Zoning Commission’s and the Village Board’s deliberations on this subject will be aided by your comments. We encourage you to review information on the Village’s website to help answer your questions and help you understand the concept.   

Thanks for staying engaged on this important community topic!