Recreational Cannabis in Unincorporated Lake County

The recreational use of cannabis in Illinois will become legal effective Jan. 1, 2020. Under the law, jurisdictions in Illinois may establish regulations on the production and sale of cannabis within their boundaries. This includes Lake County government, which enforces zoning regulations for unincorporated Lake County. 

Latest Update - December 4, 2019

Update: Recreational Cannabis in Unincorporated Lake County

The recreational use of cannabis in Illinois will become legal effective Jan. 1, 2020. Under the law, jurisdictions in Illinois may establish regulations on the production and sale of cannabis within their boundaries. This includes Lake County government, which enforces zoning regulations for unincorporated Lake County. 

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Lake County Public Works, Planning and Transportation (PWPT) Committee voted not to move forward at this time with a County Board resolution initiating the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) public hearing/zoning process for unincorporated recreational cannabis business regulations. The staff has direction to compile further information for future committee discussion including additional business location mapping scenarios and additional information on community, health and law enforcement impacts. This will allow the committee to make a more informed decision whether and when to initiate the ZBA public hearing process at a later date. An update with potential next steps will be provided at the next PWPT meeting in January.  Watch the discussion from the meeting.

December 4 County Board

Lake County Recreational Cannabis Task Force

Earlier this fall, Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department initiated a task force to study and analyze the new recreational cannabis law and the local scoping authority contained within the act. Although many communities from across the county participated in the task force and have already received these materials, Lake County staff would also like to disseminate the materials to those persons and communities who were not part of the task force but would nonetheless find the information that was developed through the task force process equally useful and beneficial. 

Please contact Lake County Planning, Building and Development at pbdzoning@lakecountyil.gov with any questions or comments.

Recreational Cannabis Model Zoning Ordinance Task Force Meeting

Previous Updates

November 2019
To prepare for the new law, the Lake County Planning, Building & Development Department (PBD) led a Recreational Cannabis Regulatory Task Force comprised of representatives from a majority of Lake County municipalities and various community organizations. The Task Force developed regulatory options for local governments to consider, including model bans on commercial cannabis businesses and model regulations permitting them with certain restrictions.

The Lake County PBD staff presented the Task Force’s findings and models to the Lake County Board at the Committee of the Whole on Friday, Nov. 8. This was only a discussion on this item, and no formal action was taken at the meeting. A decision by the Board will be made at a later date. Watch the discussion from the meeting.

September 2019
The Lake County Planning, Building & Development Department is currently leading a Recreational Cannabis Regulatory Task Force with participation from a majority of Lake County municipalities and community organizations. The goal of this Task Force is to jointly develop regulatory options (from jurisdictional bans to allowing subject to restrictions) to address commercial cannabis in our respective jurisdictions. At the Task Force’s first meeting, the group discussed a number of topics, including health, law enforcement, revenue implications and the new law’s parameters for local government regulation.

As the task force meetings conclude, Lake County will continue its study of the issue, develop its own regulatory strategy (taking into account the Task Force’s model options) and encourage residents to provide input. Updates will be provided as the Task Force continues to meet and when the public meetings are scheduled.

July 2019
Local governments across the state are now evaluating how they will ultimately regulate and/or restrict recreational cannabis businesses through zoning (to the extent permitted by law) in terms of location, operations, parking, security, distances to sensitive land uses, and other considerations.

To facilitate a regional “shared services” approach to tackling these complex issues, the Lake County Planning, Building & Development Department is leading a Model Zoning Ordinance Task Force with area municipalities and other community stakeholders to jointly develop regulatory strategies addressing commercial recreational cannabis in our respective jurisdictions. Updates will be provided as the Task Force convenes this summer.