Decatur Sets Zoning Rules For Medical Marijuana
By Bria Purdiman & Jim Meadows
The Decatur City Council has approved a change in zoning rules to cover sites for growing and dispensing medical marijuana.
Council members voted seven to nothing Monday evening to allow facilities for medical marijuana in areas zoned M-1, for Intense Commercial – Light Industrial use. M-1 areas are located mostly in the northeast section of Decatur.
City Manager Ryan McCrady said when Decatur officials see a change in state law, they try to adjust their zoning rules before they get a request.
“We’re just trying to be proactive and get this set up", said McCrady. "You know there’s a lot of groups around the state that are looking at cities at this point. So, we think it makes sense to be out in front of this and get ready.”
McCrady said several Illinois cities have already revised zoning rules for medical marijuana. He said he wants Decatur to avoid rushing through the process when a specific proposal for medical marijuana is made.
In addition to the new zoning rules in Decatur, Illinois’ medical marijuana law limits the number of cultivation and dispensing sites, and bans them from going up near schools, day-care centers and residential areas.
Decatur is not the only central Illinois city where medical marijuana is a city council topic. WCIA-TV reports that the Urbana City Council heard Monday evening from a representative for an Indiana company that says it would like to open a marijuana dispensory in Urbana.