Adult-Use Recreational Cannabis

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) went into effect on January 1, 2020, legalizing and regulating the production, consumption and sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois. The CRTA allows adults over the age of 21 to possess and privately use recreational cannabis in limited quantities in Illinois; however, use of cannabis in public places is prohibited.

Read the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Existing Medical Cannabis Regulations

In 2013 the State of Illinois enacted the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which became effective on January 1, 2014. Per the adopted act, the cultivation and dispensing of medical marijuana for use in serious diseases became permitted in all municipalities, subject to the limitations of the Act.  While municipalities were not permitted to opt-out of having these facilities in their city, they were permitted to adopt stricter zoning regulations than those provided in the Act. 

The City adopted zoning regulations for medical cannabis facilities in December 2013.  In addition to the location requirements specified by the State of Illinois, the City added additional separation requirements between these facilities and residential properties. 

For reference, the City currently has one medical cannabis dispensing facility located on an industrial-zoned property on Quincy Avenue.

City staff will use the existing medical cannabis regulations as a starting point for discussions related to the proposed adult-use cannabis regulations.

Adult-Use Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries in the City of Naperville

While cities cannot prohibit members of the public from using or possessing cannabis within city limits (so long as such use and possession is within the parameters of the CRTA), cities have been granted the ability, through their zoning authority, to regulate or prohibit the location of cannabis businesses within city limits. This is unlike the 2013 Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which did not allow cities to prohibit medical cannabis facilities in their municipality.  

The CRTA also loosened some zoning requirements that were previously established through the medical cannabis pilot program.

Zoning Roadmap

At the May 5 City Council meeting, Council members approved a staff-proposed roadmap which outlines the required steps, input process, and timing related to the creation of zoning regulations for adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries in the City of Naperville.

Step 1 (COMPLETE): Under the first step in the process, Council members held a City Council Workshop on June 22 at 7 p.m. to provide input and direction on possible locations for dispensaries, parking requirements, and how many dispensaries could operate in the city if council members vote to approve the sales.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the June 22 workshop was conducted using Zoom Webinar technology. Members of the public were given two opportunities to provide input, including a survey to gauge public opinion and an opportunity to speak during or submit a comment for the June 22 workshop.


Step 2 (COMPLETE): Staff will draft an adult-use cannabis zoning amendment to the City Code based on discussions from the June 22 Workshop.

Step 3 (COMPLETE): The adult-use cannabis draft zoning amendment will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) for a public hearing after the City Council Workshop.

The public hearing for this case was held on July 15, 2020 at which time the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Cannabis Facilities Text Amendment, as proposed.

Step 4 (COMPLETE): Following a PZC vote on the proposed ordinance language, the ordinance was presented to the City Council for a first reading (August 4, 2020) and second reading (August 18, 2020).

Step 5 (COMPLETE): The ordinance will return to a subsequent City Council meeting for a final vote.

At the Aug. 18 City Council meeting, the City Council held the final reading of the cannabis facilities text amendment and approved the ordinance as presented with one amendment to increase the minimum distance between dispensaries to one mile. 

The ordinance, Section 6-2-32 (Cannabis Facilities), will provide regulations for both medical and adult-use cannabis facilities and permits a maximum of 3 medical and/or adult-use dispensaries within the Naperville corporate limits.

A detailed summary of the approved ordinance, as well as the signed ordinance, is available at Related Meeting Agendas and Minutes page.

Public Engagement

The City of Naperville has hosted several discussions (beginning in July 2019) as to whether adult-use cannabis dispensing facilities should be permitted within Naperville city limits. Over 400 members of the public spoke on this topic over multiple meetings before the City Council, offering both positions in support and against local adult-use cannabis dispensing facilities. 

Members of the public have been given the opportunity to provide input during this process by providing public comment during public meetings, voting on the advisory referendum included on the March 17, 2020 ballot, and an online survey to gauge public opinion.

View meeting materials and other important information related to recreational adult-use cannabis sales and facilities in Naperville.

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