Medical marijuana is comming soon to Will County

Medical marijuana dispensary plan gets city committee nod
Karen Sorensen | 5/1/2014, 8:47 p.m.

The first applicant to propose a medical marijuana dispensary for Joliet won city council committee approval Thursday, but there’s no guarantee it will actually open.
The proposed clinic would be located at 1627 Rock Creek Blvd., in a complex off Houbolt Road near Interstate 80, said Joliet attorney Mike Martin, who represents the unit’s three owners.
A special use permit from the city is needed before the owners — who will either enlist a relative to run the dispensary or lease it to a tenant — can apply for a state license, Martin said. Both the owners and the operator must be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
It’s likely the state will field several applications from people wanting to open dispensaries in Will County, and each applicant will need approval from the municipality in which they are located before they can apply, City Manager Jim Hock said. Joliet has already been approached by three other groups who may seek special use permits, he said.
With the state only expected to approve three dispensaries in Will, Martin said, the odds are good that at least one will be in Joliet given that it’s the county seat and the town with the highest number of residents, Martin said. The proposed 2,500-square-foot site, formerly used by Joliet Tri-State Fire Protection, has been vacant since September 2013, owner Donald Donka said. When he was approached by a group seeking medical marijuana investors, Donka said he realized the empty location they already owned — and already set up with cameras and security — could make a good dispensary.
Stringent state laws will require even more protection, Martin said, despite the facility likely having less pharmaceuticals on hand than a typical drug store.
“In my opinion, it’s nothing but a heavily regulated drug store,” Martin said. “It will be more secure than a jewelry store.” While most people think loose pot and cigarettes when imagining a pot dispensary, much of the merchandise will actually be in “edible, pill or liquid” form, he said. And with all of those items having an expiration date, there won’t be a lot of inventory on hand at any one time, he said.
The committee signed off on the special use permit, and will recommend city council approval when it comes up later this month. They also agreed to a one-year time period for the permit, rather than the standard 180 days, because the state is still working on how the application approval process will work.

Contact Karen Sorensen at Karen@TheTimesWeekly.com.

 

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Source: Will County News

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