BRADLEY — Bradley appears to be taking steps allowing adult-use marijuana sales.
Village trustees approved amending the zoning ordinance to permit and regulate adult-use cannabis businesses at Tuesday’s meeting.
But, Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Watson said the ordinance only opens up the opportunity for a business to open such an establishment. There is still a long way to go before it could become a reality, he said.
The ordinance amendment permits the siting and operation of six distinct categories of cannabis-use establishments – dispensary, cultivation center, craft grower, processor, infuser and transporter. Each of the categories are clearly defined, and the village has authority to permit or prohibit any one of the categories.
The ordinance also requires a special-use permit for every cannabis establishment that may want to site and operate in the village, thus preserving the village’s ongoing right to control development in the village, said Jeff Taylor, of Spesia and Taylor of Joliet, the administration’s legal counsel.
Taylor also noted that the ordinance imposes additional application requirements over a normal special use permit application, ensuring that the village have sufficient information to analyze each applicant for a cannabis business establishment permit on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, the ordinance creates a buffer zone between such establishments and schools, day-care centers, residential care homes, libraries and any property zoned residential.
The ordinance also fully prohibits on-site consumption of cannabis at any cannabis business establishment.
Watson also pointed out that the ordinance requirements for cannabis business establishments are in addition to existing requirements for special use permits in the village.
Jeff Bennett, of McColly Bennett Commercial, represents Grassroots Cannabis, a business interested in operating an adult-use cannabis business in Bradley. It has a contract to purchase land in the northern portion of Illinois Route 50 in Bradley.
Grassroots Cannabis currently operates cannabis facilities in 12 states and holds 75 licenses.
“They want to move forward,” Bennett said. “The ordinance approved tonight will allow the company to move forward in the application process.”
The next step in the process is presenting plans to the Bradley Planning & Zoning Commission for the specific parcel and detailed building and operational plans.
Watson added that the planning commission thoroughly reviews all cases and asks key questions before making a recommendation to the full board. After the plan commission makes a recommendation, the matter goes to the full board for consideration.
The only trustee voting against the ordinance was Bob Redmond.
Speaking out against the matter during the public comment portion of the meeting was Lindsay Wilson, health promotion coordinator for the Kankakee County Health Department.
“I work with students on consequences to their choices,” Wilson said. “When substances become normalized, youth use increases. Your decision will shape the perception of young people. Think strong and hard about the message this sends to our youth.”
Previously, the board approved legislation allowing a 3 percent sales tax on the sale of marijuana in the village.