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Tinley Park eyes medical pot ordinance

Updated: May 17, 2014 6:35AM



Tinley Park officials want to have a greater say on where medical marijuana is grown and sold in the village.

As the state embarks on a pilot program allowing the cultivation and dispensing of marijuana for medicinal uses, communities are looking to enact their limits. Tinley Park trustees, at a committee meeting Tuesday, took the first steps toward restricting areas of the village where it could potentially be grown or sold.

State agencies have crafted preliminary rules for licensing growers and sellers, but it’s unlikely that any final regulations will be developed until later this year.

Without clear-cut guidelines from the state, it’s difficult for towns such as Tinley Park to develop regulations, Trustee Brian Maher said.

“It’s kind of hard to operate in the dark,” he said.

Marijuana growers couldn’t operate within 2,500 feet of a school or homes, while stores selling medical marijuana would have to be at least 1,000 feet from a school or homes, under the tentative state regulations.

Trustees said they are considering requiring that a business seeking to grow or sell medical marijuana be required to receive a special use zoning permit, which would allow the village to put additional restrictions on operations.

That’s what officials in New Lenox have done, while Orland Park trustees recently approved a six-month moratorium on considering a business licenses for any business that would grow or sell medical marijuana.

Tinley Park trustees also want police input regarding what safeguards police would want in place regarding medical pot operations.

Under the medical marijuana law that took effect Jan. 1, Illinois will have up to 22 growing centers, one in each Illinois State Police district, and a maximum of 60 businesses statewide licensed to sell medical marijuana. For example, there would be one dispensary for all of Bremen, Rich and Orland townships under the proposed rules.

Also Tuesday night, trustees gave tentative approval to Tinley Park’s budget for fiscal 2014-15, which begins May 1. Expenses would rise to $110.6 million from the $92.3 million in the current budget year.

Capital improvement costs are expected to rise about $2 million, while water and sewer maintenance and construction costs are expected to increase by more than $5 million, according to the proposed spending plan.

Projected revenue of $85.1 million is up from $76.8 million in the current budget year, with some of the additional money coming from a home rule sales tax of 0.75 percent that will take effect July 1. It would apply to most purchases, with the exception of groceries, prescription medication and vehicles and is expected to generate $5.4 million in annual revenue.



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