Adult-Use Recreational Cannabis Fact Sheet

What is the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act?

On June 25, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) into law. The CRTA goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and legalizes and regulates the production, consumption, and sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois. The CRTA allows Illinois residents over the age of 21 to possess and privately use recreational cannabis in limited quantities; however, use of cannabis in public places is prohibited. The State of Illinois legalized the production, consumption, and sale of medical cannabis in Illinois as of January 1, 2014.

Read the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

What does this law allow municipalities to do?

The CRTA allows Illinois municipalities to choose whether they will allow (“opt in”) or prohibit (“opt out”) the local retail sale of adult-use cannabis by businesses within their jurisdiction.

The Choice to Opt Out

Municipalities may choose to opt out, or prohibit, adult-use cannabis businesses.

If a municipality chooses to opt out, it may adopt and enforce local ordinances to regulate the possession, public consumption, cultivation, growing, processing, dispensing, and transporting of adult-use cannabis as long as the regulations and penalties are consistent with the CRTA.

The Choice to Opt In

Municipalities may choose to opt in, or permit, adult-use cannabis businesses.

By opting in, municipalities may enact zoning ordinances and regulations that designate the time, place, manner, and number of cannabis business operations. This would also include requiring minimum distances not only between cannabis business locations, but also between cannabis business locations and certain types of other businesses throughout the municipality.

In addition, municipalities that opt in may impose a Municipal Purchase Excise Tax on adult-use cannabis products of up to 3% of the purchase price. The taxes imposed under the CRTA are in addition to all other taxes imposed by the municipality and State of Illinois.

What has been discussed by the Naperville City Council to date on this topic?

July 16, 2019 City Council Meeting

On July 16, the City Council considered a joint request from Grassroots Cannabis and Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to be allowed to begin operating adult-use cannabis dispensaries in the City of Naperville on January 1, 2020. Representatives from the two businesses made presentations and 15 speakers spoke both for and against allowing the sale of adult-use recreational cannabis in Naperville. After approximately 2.5 hours of discussion, the City Council voted 5-4 to direct staff to bring back an ordinance opting out, or prohibiting, the local retail sale of adult-use recreational cannabis at its next meeting.

Watch the Discussion 
(Agenda item: N1 (File #19-689), 1:50:54)

August 20, 2019 City Council Meeting

On August 20, the City Council held the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments in Naperville. (The ordinance does not include medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations, both of which are permitted by law in the City of Naperville.) The petitioner, GTI, made a presentation and approximately 20 speakers provided input.  After nearly two hours of discussion, the City Council directed staff to bring back two options for consideration: (1) the ordinance prohibiting local adult-use cannabis business establishments; and (2) a plan to establish zoning for adult-use cannabis business establishments. The Council also recommended that staff invite Naperville School District 203, Indian Prairie School District 204 and North Central College to share input regarding the sale of adult-use recreational cannabis.

Watch the Discussion 
(Agenda item: L7 (File #19-809), 5:04:52)

September 3, 2019 City Council Meeting 

At the September 3 meeting, the City Council considered the following two options: (1) pass the ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments other than medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations; and (2) direct staff to proceed with a plan to establish zoning for local adult-use cannabis business establishments.

Following more than three hours of public comment from 238 registered speakers on this topic, the City Council voted 6-3 to pass the ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments other than medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations (the “opt-out” option) and directed staff to prepare a report within 60 days that advises Council concerning including an advisory (non-binding) referendum question on a future election ballot. The Council discussed potentially including an adult-use recreational cannabis referendum on one of three possible future election ballots: 3/17/20 (national primary), 11/3/20 (national general) or 4/6/21 (municipal general).

Watch the Discussion
 (Agenda item: K1 (File #19-844), 13:53)

How does early issuance of recreational cannabis dispensary licenses from the state impact Naperville’s decision to opt in or out?

On Thursday, August 29, the Chicago Tribune published an article reporting that the state of Illinois had awarded its first five adult-use recreational cannabis dispensary licenses, including a location in Naperville.

At its September 3 meeting, and following more than three hours of public comment from 238 registered speakers on this topic, the City Council voted 6-3 to prohibit adult-use recreational cannabis business establishments in Naperville. The state’s issuance of an adult-use recreational cannabis license to the City’s existing medical cannabis dispensary does not impact this prohibition.

Does the City of Naperville have control over locating dispensaries in unincorporated areas?

On Tuesday, August 27, the Daily Herald published an article reporting that the DuPage County Board is considering whether to allow adult-use recreational cannabis sales in unincorporated areas. An area near Metea Valley High School, a District #204 school located in Aurora, is reportedly one of the three areas in unincorporated DuPage that the county identified as potentially being eligible for locating adult-use recreational cannabis businesses.

DuPage County has not yet taken any final action whether to prohibit or allow adult-use recreational cannabis businesses to locate within unincorporated DuPage County. The county, not the City of Naperville, has jurisdictional control of unincorporated areas and the DuPage County Board has sole authority concerning whether to allow adult-use recreational cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.