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Local News

Newsletter sample: Is recreational marijuana in the works for Kendall County?

Katie Finlon
Katie Finlon

You could have seen this newsletter in your inbox last Tuesday, Jan. 7. How do you do it? Sign up for our free Kendall County Government Insider newsletter here.

Welcome to the Record Newspapers/Oswego Ledger Kendall County local government newsletter. Each Tuesday and Thursday, reporters Katie Finlon, Shea Lazansky and editor John Etheredge provide exclusive content and commentary on topics and issues involving Kendall County area governmental agencies and the communities they serve.

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Happy New Year, Kendall County! It's me, news reporter Katie Finlon, again. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday, and I hope it wasn't too hard of a transition to get back to reality, whatever that meant for you.

As you probably saw from various news outlets, Illinois adult use marijuana sales started with a bang in the new year. With so many dispensaries seeing lines out the door and patrons wait for hours in the cold to get recreational marijuana products, more than 77,000 transactions and nearly $3.2 million in total sales were made in the first day of recreational marijuana use being legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, Toi Hutchinson, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker's senior adviser for cannabis control, said during a Thursday, Jan. 2 news conference.

There are currently 37 adult use cannabis dispensaries open in Illinois, with about 75 more new dispensary licenses expected to be issued by May 2020.

So that begged the question for me: Are these types of businesses expected to pop up in Kendall County anytime soon?

Here's the deal:

Currently, none of those 37 recreational dispensaries, along with medical ones, are located in Kendall County. After I did a little bit of poking around, it's looking like it might be too soon to tell whether one will come to the county this year.

Kendall County Administrator Scott Koeppel said nobody has submitted any applications to the county for any adult-use marijuana businesses in unincorporated parts of the county since the County Board approved related zoning and sales tax regulations and voted down an ordinance barring those businesses. He said he would assume the applications would go to the municipalities first, anyway, since populations are a little more concentrated in those areas.

Koeppel said, to his knowledge, no one has even approached administration or building and zoning officials to explore opening an adult use cannabis business within the county. However, he said, he encourages those potential business owners to communicate with the county if they are interested in doing so.

“We’re happy to help anybody that has any questions,” Koeppel said.

Plano Mayor Bob Hausler said there haven't been any applications submitted with the city, either, following the City Council approving recreational marijuana sales within city limits. He said the city received a few inquiries a few months ago but nothing more serious than that.

Montgomery Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel also said the village has not received any requests or applications for any adult use marijuana business permits.

Oswego Village Administrator Dan Di Santo said there haven't been any special use applications for recreational marijuana businesses submitted to the village, either, following the Village Board approving those sales within village limits.

Di Santo said he knows there is interest in the Oswego market from those businesses, but he didn't expect those requests to come in to the village right away. He said the earliest any requests he anticipates coming in would be in May 2020, which is when the state is expected to issue the next round of licenses.

“It’s going to be a while before any businesses open up in Oswego,” Di Santo said.

Business leaders in the Yorkville area previously have offered comment at Yorkville City Council meetings about possibly bringing recreational as the City Council considered zoning regulations for potential adult use cannabis sales. Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Record Newspapers on Monday, Jan. 6 afternoon.

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