ST. CHARLES – The city of St. Charles is a single vote away from enabling the retail sale of recreational marijuana.

In the course of the St. Charles City Council’s Arranging and Improvement Committee meeting on Oct. 14, aldermen voted six-three to enable recreational dispensaries as a specific use. The committee meets as a committee of the entire.

The recommendation now goes to the complete City Council. Voting “no” had been 1st Ward Alderman Ronald Silkaitis, 2nd Ward Alderman Arthur Lemke and 5th Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis.

Second Ward Alderman Rita Anne Payleitner, who chairs the Arranging and Improvement Committee, did not vote. But she has previously raised issues the city is rushing the course of action and requires to slow down.

“We will need to have time to let the dust settle on this,” she mentioned throughout the meeting.

A motion by Lewis to prohibit the recreational sale of marijuana failed.

“There is a lot of operate to be completed on our finish, on the state’s finish,” she mentioned, in producing the motion. “I believe the greatest course for suitable now is to just opt out.”

In voting for the recreational sale of marijuana, 4th Ward Alderman Lora Vitek mentioned she believes the proposed guidelines are thoughtful, considerate of firms and residents in the city and fiscally accountable. She took challenge with critics who say enabling marijuana would hurt the city’s image.

“Do I think two cannabis establishments will have tremendous unfavorable impact on our neighborhood?” Vitek asked. “Not for a second.”

Starting Jan. 1, the law will enable Illinois residents 21 and older to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana per Illinois resident. Residents also will be in a position to possess five grams of cannabis concentrate and up to 500 milligrams of THC – the most important psychoactive compound in marijuana that offers the higher sensation – contained in a cannabis-infused solution. Nonresidents can possess half these amounts.

Registered health-related marijuana sufferers will be permitted to develop up to 5 cannabis plants in their dwelling and possess far more than 30 grams of cannabis if it is grown and secured in their residence beneath specific circumstances.

As proposed, recreational dispensaries would be permitted in the neighborhood small business and regional small business zoning districts, which means they would be positioned away from the city’s downtown. In addition, they would have to be positioned at least 250 feet away from a college, day care facility or residential makes use of.

Two dispensaries could be positioned in the city – a single on the east side and a single on the west side of the Fox River. In addition, a single of the dispensaries will have to have a minimum of a single year’s practical experience operating a health-related marijuana dispensary in St. Charles. The second dispensary will have to have a minimum of a single year’s practical experience operating a health-related marijuana dispensary inside the state of Illinois, not necessarily in St. Charles.

Zen Leaf, a health-related marijuana dispensary, presently operates at 3714 Illinois Ave. in St. Charles. On-premise consumption lounges and production and distribution facilities would not be permitted as component of the committee’s recommendation.