Unincorporated Lake County Now Allows Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

WAUKEGAN, Ill. — The Lake County Board voted 13-7 on May 11 to allow adult-use cannabis businesses, including weed dispensaries, in unincorporated Lake County. Nearby Gilmer and Sylvan Lake are potentially impacted. The measure was passed 13 to 7.

The vote considered discussions and counsel from the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Lake County Public Works, Planning and Transportation Committee as well as public hearings.

“We see this ordinance as a reasonable balance between economic development opportunities in the unincorporated areas and sensible restrictions to protect public health and safety,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart.

Following the end of a one-year moratorium placed by the board on the matter of adult-use cannabis businesses operating in unincorporated Lake County that ended in February 2021, the Lake County Board discussed the subject at several committee meetings.

Of Lake County Board’s 21 members, only 20 were present on Tuesday morning virtually. Terry Wilke was absent and did not vote.

“Starting May 11, 2021, adult-use cannabis businesses will be able to apply for the opportunity to operate in unincorporated Lake County in accordance with the provisions in the ordinance,” said Lake County Public Works, Planning and Transportation Committee Chair Bill Durkin.

Durkin was the board member who introduced the measure during yesterday’s meeting. It is formally known as the ordinance amending chapter 151, unified development ordinance of the Lake County Code of Ordinances relating to the regulation of adult-use cannabis businesses. 

Individual Votes: Yes or No?

Marah Altenberg (District 20)

Board member Altenberg represents Buffalo Grove, portions of Long Grove and portions of the unincorporated areas of Vernon and Ela Townships.

Vote: YES

Dick Barr (District 3)

Board member Barr represents all of Lindenhurst and Round Lake Heights and portions of Round Lake Beach and Lake Villa.

Vote: NO

Carissa Casbon (District 7)

Board member Casbon represents portions of Gurnee and Third Lake.

Vote: YES

Jennifer Clark (District 15)

Board Member Clark represents Libertyville and portions of Mundelein.

Vote: YES

Mary Ross-Cunningham (District 9)

Board member Cunningham represents portions of Waukegan and North Chicago.

Vote: YES

Michael Danforth (District 17)

Board member Danforth represents Island Lake, Lake Barrington, Port Barrington, North Barrington, Barrington Hills, Tower Lakes, Fox River Grove, and portions of Wauconda and Hawthorn Woods.

Vote: NO

Bill Durkin (District 8)

Board member Durkin represents portions of Waukegan.

Vote: YES

Paul Frank (District 11)

Board member Frank represents Highland Park, Highwood, and Deerfield.

Vote: YES

Sandy Hart (District 13)

Board member Hart represents Lake Bluff, Wildwood, unincorporated Grayslake, and portions of North Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, and Gurnee.

Vote: YES

Diane Hewitt (District 2)

Board member Hewitt represents portions of Waukegan, Gurnee, Beach Park, and Zion.

Vote: NO

Angelo D. Kyle (District 14)

Board member Kyle represents Park City and portions of North Chicago, Waukegan, and Gurnee.

Vote: YES

Ann Maine (District 21)

Board member Maine represents Riverwoods, Lincolnshire, Bannockburn, Mettawa, Green Oaks, and portions of Deerfield, Lake Forest, Waukegan, Gurnee, and Grayslake.

Vote: NO

Judy Martini (District 5)

Board member Martini represents Fox Lake, Lakemoor, Volo, portions of Round Lake, the unincorporated areas of Grant Township, and portions of Wauconda, Avon, Antioch, and Lake Villa.

Vote: NO

Paras Parekh (District 12)

Board member Parekh represents portions of Highland Park, Deerfield, Lake Forest, and Knollwood.

Vote: YES

Linda Pedersen (District 1)

Board member Pedersen represents Antioch and Old Mill Creek, and portions of Fox Lake and Lake Villa.

Vote: No

Gina Roberts (District 4)

Board member Roberts represents Winthrop Harbor, Wadsworth, and portions of Zion and Beach Park.

Vote: YES

Catherine Sbarra (District 19)

Board member Sbarra represents Lake Zurich, Barrington, Deer Park, Kildeer, and portions of Long Grove.

Vote: NO

Julie Simpson (District 18)

Board member Simpson represents Vernon Hills and Indian Creek, as well as portions of Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove, Mundelein, and unincorporated Lake County.

Vote: YES

Jessica Vealitzek (District 10)

Board member Vealitzek represents portions of Mundelein, Hawthorn Woods, Round Lake Park, Wauconda, Long Grove, and Lake Zurich.

Vote: YES

John Wasik (District 6)

Board member Wasik represents all of Grayslake and Hainesville, portions of Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach, and Wildwood.

Vote: YES

Terry Wilke (District 16)

Board member Wilke represents the 16th District, which includes portions of Round Lake and Round Lake Beach.

In particular relation to the text amendments to the ordinance during the study by the task force initiated by the board, infusers, processors, craft growers, and transportation facilities are allowed “by right” within the industrial zones, while all other adult-use cannabis businesses require a public hearing and the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals’ approval of a conditional use permit to operate.

More Information

For more information on the journey the Lake County government took from the legalization of recreational cannabis in all of Illinois in June of 2019 to the Lake County board voting for allowance of businesses in unincorporated Lake County on Tuesday, click here.

By Daniel J. Cameron

Daniel Cameron is a professional freelance writer/editor/proofreader originally from Detroit. He has written news, marketing/advertising, and general business writing, and SEO for 15 years since college, where he majored in professional writing. He is happy to write for the Local Newsreader and can be contacted at danieljcameron@gmail.com.

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