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Cannabis FAQs

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The State of Illinois has approved the use of recreational cannabis (with restrictions), beginning Jan. 1, 2020. House Bill 1438 approved the use and possession of cannabis in Illinois, including Carol Stream, beginning on January 1, 2020 for adults 21 years of age and older. This law does not alter or affect the provisions the Village Board added to the Zoning Code in 2014 related to medical cannabis dispensaries or cultivation centers.

On October 21st, the Village Board provided preliminary support  for opting in to recreational cannabis sales in Carol Stream. Staff has been directed to provide zoning recommendations to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals. The Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals will review the proposed recommendations at a public hearing on Monday, November 25th, at 7:00 pm in the Joseph E. Breinig Board Room of the Municipal Center. The Zoning Code text amendment proposes to allow a cannabis dispensary as a Special Use in the B-3 Service District and B-4 Office, Research, and Institutional Building District, and cannabis cultivation centers and other growing and processing establishments as Special Uses in the Industrial District. The Special Use approval process requires the use to go through a public hearing approval process, and allows for specific regulations to be placed on the use, such as security measures, signage, product display, odor control, and traffic/parking studies. Below is more information on cannabis in the Village of Carol Stream.

Recreational Cannabis FAQs

  1. When was cannabis made legal in Illinois?  On 6/25/2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed Illinois House Bill 1438, better known as the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), legalizing the consumption and possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older in Illinois.
  2. Can the consumption/possession of cannabis be banned by the Village of Carol Stream? No, municipalities cannot ban or override the CRTA.
  3. Will the Village have any regulatory abilities?  Yes. Carol Stream can:
    • Dictate the number of legal dispensaries within the Village
    • Determine how cannabis businesses are operated such as hours of operation
    • Dictate the location of cannabis businesses as they relate to points of interest such as schools, government buildings, and liquor stores.
    • Regulate the zoning of cannabis businesses in specific districts                                                              
  4. What regulatory abilities, if any, do business owners and landlords have? Any person, business, public entity, or landlord may prohibit the use of cannabis on their private property.
  5. How many recreational cannabis licenses would be issued in Carol Stream? While Carol Stream may choose to limit the number of recreational cannabis facilities (dispensaries) that exist in town, we are part of a larger Bureau of Labor Statistics Region within the state. The region Carol Stream is a part of is the Chicago-Naperville, Elgin region. The State is allowing up to 47 licenses within the region, in 2020.
  6. How will the Village manage public safety at these dispensary locations? Recent surveys have found that Illinois communities that currently contain a medial cannabis facility have minimal calls to such facilities. Denver found that a majority of cannabis-establishment related crime involved burglary (59%). Denver also found robbery was not prevalent. Public safety is the Village’s top priority and any specific security concerns will be addressed. In addition the Carol Stream Police Department is a leader in Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training, with six certified DRE Officers and a joint task force K-9 unit. The Village also has a total of 50 Officers who have completed Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) program which also allows Officers to detect individuals driving under the influence.
  7. Who can legally purchase and consume cannabis? As of 1/1/2020, the consumption of cannabis will be treated similar to the consumption of alcohol or tobacco with any Illinois resident, or non-resident, ages 21 or over, now being able to purchase and consume cannabis.
  8. Who can legally grow and sell recreational cannabis? Only licensed businesses will be able to legally grow and sell recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis patients each will be allowed to grow up to five plants within their home.
  9. What will the Village’s role be in the licensing process? The Village plays no role in the licensing process as it is left up to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to select and process those attempting to obtain a license.
  10. How much cannabis may an individual possess? 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 candy, other consumable products (referred to as “edibles”), or tinctures, and lotions
    • Non-Illinois residents may legally possess up to ½ of these amounts.
  11. What action is required by the Village Board to allow recreational cannabis to be sold in Carol Stream? The Village Board hosted an informational workshop on August 5th, 2019 and decided to wait for more information before making a final decision. After reviewing more information and considering resident input, on October 21st the Village Board chose to opt-in to recreational cannabis sales in Carol Stream. Staff has been directed to provide zoning recommendations to the Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals which will provide a recommendation to the Village Board who will make a final decision on this matter. 
  12. Will cannabis consumption be allowed in public spaces? No, the consumption of cannabis in public will be considered unlawful. This includes places such as parks and the summer concerts.
  13. Where will consumption be allowed? The consumption of cannabis will be allowed on private property or potentially, specifically designated establishments such as dispensaries or smoking lounges.
  14. Where is consumption prohibited?
    • Grounds of any preschool, primary, or secondary school
    • Motor vehicles
    • In any public place or knowingly in close physical proximity to anyone under 21 years of age
    • Any location where smoking is prohibited by the Smoke Free Illinois Act
    • Post-secondary educational institutions can restrict or prohibit cannabis on their property.
  15. Are there any changes to existing medical cannabis laws? Yes; the list of conditions that are covered under the use of medial cannabis was expanded to now include chronic pain, autism, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and anorexia.
  16. Is the sale of medical cannabis currently allowed in Carol Stream? If so, where?  Yes. By state and local ordinance, medical cannabis was approved in 2014 and its sale is permitted in Carol Stream as a conditional use in the Office, Research, and Institutional Building District (B-4). This map highlights what locations are available in the district while maintaining the regulated distance away from special interest points like schools. While these facilities are allowed, no such business has opted to open in Carol Stream.
  17. How is cannabis taxed? Sales will be taxed at 10% for cannabis with THC levels at or less 35%; 25% for cannabis with THC levels above 35%; and 20% for cannabis infused products such as edibles. This is in addition to standard state and local sales taxes. Additionally, municipalities may add a special tax of up to 3% and counties may add a special tax up to 3.75% in unincorporated areas.
  18. How will the potential tax revenue generated be used? Within the bill, government proceeds for the sale of recreational cannabis are:
    • 20% to State mental health services and substance abuse programs
    • 10% to pay unpaid State bills                                                                                                     
    • 35% to the State General Revenue Fund
    • 2% to public education and safety campaigns
    • 8% to the Local Government Distributive Fund, for prevention and training for law enforcement (after State administrative costs are accounted for)
    • 25% for identified social equity programs
  19. How will the potential tax revenue from the (3%) tax be used by Carol Stream? Currently, the Village Board has not determined the exact use of potential funds. It is likely that the 3% sales tax, if approved, would go toward the General Fund which pays for services including infrastructure, public safety, and more.
  20. How do federal laws affect Illinois’ law? Although cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, federal law enforcement has rarely interfered with individuals possessing the State regulated legal amount or businesses complying with state enforced programs. Any questions related to Federal or State regulations should be directed to the proper agencies.
  21. How does recreational cannabis affect criminal records?

    The Act includes a schedule of expungement provisions that requires local law enforcement to automatically expunge all criminal history records of an arrest, charge not initiated by arrest, order of supervision or order of qualified probation for a "minor cannabis offense" if: 1) one year or more has elapsed since the date of the arrest or law enforcement interaction documented in the records; and, 2) no criminal charges were filed relating to the arrest or law enforcement interaction or criminal charges were filed and subsequently dismissed or vacated or the arrestee was acquitted. "Minor Cannabis Offense" as defined in the Act means a violation of Section 4 (possession) or Section 5 (delivery) of the Cannabis Control Act (available via this link) concerning not more than 30 grams of any substance containing cannabis, provided the violation did not include a penalty enhancement under Section 7 of the Cannabis Control Act and is not associated with an arrest, conviction or other disposition for a violent crime as defined in subsection (c) of Section 3 of the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act (available via this link).

  22. What are some potential impacts to the State’s decision to allow recreational marijuana use when it comes to policing? It is expected that the legalization of cannabis will increase the demand for police services as well as the number of drug impaired drivers on our roadways, due to the state-wide allowance of marijuana, regardless of whether or not such a facility is located within the limits of Carol Stream. The Carol Stream Police Department has prepared for this through extensive training.
  23. What efforts will the Village take in communicating to the public about this topic?  The Village hosted an open to the public workshop on August 5th, 2019 to discuss the implications of the State law. An agenda item requesting Board direction on whether to opt-in to recreational cannabis sales was approved at the October 21st open meeting. Residents were able to provide commentary during the "Listening Post" segment. The Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals will review the proposed Zoning Code text amendments on cannabis dispensary and growing/processing establishment regulations on November 25th, and will provide a recommendation to the Village Board who will make a final decision on this matter. The Village will continue to share information about upcoming meetings on social media and the Village website. All meetings will also be posted on the Village Calendar and agendas will be available at: