Montgomery Village Board member Denny Lee (left) and Tom Betsinger at a recent village board meeting.
Montgomery Village Board member Denny Lee (left) and Tom Betsinger at a recent village board meeting.

Montgomery Village Board members continued their discussions Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, over a proposed amendment to the village’s zoning ordinance that would allow marijuana businesses to locate on property zoned for business and manufacturing use in the village, subject to the granting of special-use permits by the village.

Board members had the option of approving the ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting; however, on the recommendation of Village President Matt Brolley, they chose to delay a final vote until their next regular meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, at Village Hall.

Board member Theresa Sperling was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

The two-week delay, Brolley said, would allow village residents additional time to express their views to village officials.

“There is no real time crunch here,” he said.

Brolley emphasized that if the board votes to allow marijuana businesses in the village, each business would be subject to the village’s special-use permit review process.

“It would also require a liquor license from us and some form of a cannabis license so we will be able to fully vet a particular user,” Brolley said.

Richard Young, the village’s community development director, noted that all marijuana businesses will also be required to obtain licenses from the state.

Adult use recreational marijuana will become legal in Illinois effective Jan. 1 under legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law in June by Governor JB Pritzker.

Under state law, the village and other municipalities and counties across the state have the option of permitting and regulating retail and production marijuana businesses under their own local zoning ordinances.

They also have the option of barring the businesses.

Municipalities who permit the businesses will be able to levy a sales tax of up to 3% on all local retail marijuana sales.

In addition to delaying action on the ordinance amendment permitting marijuana business, board members agreed to delay a vote on an ordinance amending village code to allow for the creation of a 3% tax to be levied on all marijuana sales until their Nov. 25 meeting.

Young told board members that the village has been approached by a business that has expressed interest in locating a restaurant, brewery and marijuana cultivation center.

Young said the brewery would feature marijuana-infused adult beverages.

The business, Young noted, wishes to remain anonymous for now.

The proposed amendment permitting marijuana businesses to locate in the village has been modified to accommodate businesses such as the one currently proposed.

Noting that brewing operation with restaurants are operating in Aurora, Oswego and North Aurora, board member Denny Lee voiced support for the plan to locate a brewery and restaurant in the village.

“The last part I’m not real sure of, I’ve never heard of cannabis in your beer. I think it’s a recipe for drunks on the road and now they are high drunks on the road,” Lee said, “I don’t know how our police department would correct that situation. I don’t want Montgomery to become known as the only town where you have marijuana in your beer.”

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