Medical cannabis dispensary to open in Romeoville

Village also approved a cannabis privilege tax of 5 percent on the cultivation center

By Laura Katauskas | Staff Reporter

With only three currently slated to open in Will County, a medical cannabis dispensary is scheduled to open in the middle of a Romeoville industrial park.

The Romeoville Village Board recently approved a special use permit allowing Midwest Compassion Center to operate a dispensary at 1335 Lakeside Drive. The village amended its code to include the special use back in January 2014, according to state law.

The code states that no school, day care center or residence should be within 1,000 feet of the dispensary. The location in an industrial park was chosen for that reason, ensuring the site would not be near the public. The village held a public hearing on the dispensary July 28.

“The village passed its zoning some time ago, and this is obviously something the state deemed allowable,” Romeoville Mayor John Noak said. “There are many restrictions that the state has. They are the ones who set the guidelines, how it is secured, etc. It’s all in state powers, not ours.”

Principal Officer of MCC Nicole Jansen van Rensburg said the facility is not open to the public and will be secured with alarm systems and security guard, and all staff members will review safety procedures.

Patrons of the facility must be pre-approved by the state and will need a prescription card from the Illinois Department of Health.

Citing how the decision could be controversial, trustee Sue Mickelvitz encouraged van Rensburg to elaborate on how the facility would operate. Van Rensburg explained that there would be limited access to the area and a guard would check patrons for proper identification in a waiting area before letting them in to choose their product.

MCC was awarded a license by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to operate in Will County. The company said its principal officers have a combined 125 years of experience owning and operating pharmacies, medical diagnostic testing, and cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensaries. As a result, MCC received the sixth highest score in the state out of 211 total applicants.

According to the company, its mission is to provide safe medical access to patients who have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition.

Trustees Jose Chavez and Linda Palmiter applauded the move, saying they’re glad to see the issue will allow people in the community to get the help they need.

The village also approved a cannabis privilege tax of 5 percent on the cultivation center that sells to the dispensary. Midwest is not operating a cultivation center.

Noak urged caution, however, saying the village would need to monitor the competitiveness of the tax structure, as the project progresses.

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