URBANA — A Champaign County Board committee will take another look this week at establishing regulations for cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.
Before the board’s Environment and Land Use Committee today are two zoning amendment options heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals in March.
Both would amend the county zoning ordinance to add definitions for recreational-cannabis businesses such as dispensaries, infusers, processors, transporters, craft growers and cultivation centers.
Both would also allow these businesses — with certain requirements — to operate within 1.5 miles of home-rule cities with more than 20,000 people. That currently includes only Champaign and Urbana, which each already have a marijuana dispensary.
The zoning board advised rejecting that option and approving one that includes restrictions that take other locations into consideration.
Specifically, the second option would also not allow cannabis businesses within 1.5 miles of a non-home-rule municipality or any residentially zoned area more than 1.5 miles away from a home-rule city with more than 20,000 people.
It would also only allow dispensaries, infusers and processors to operate within 1.5 miles of Champaign and Urbana.
Restrictions on cannabis businesses have been pending before the county board since October, and the land-use committee sent two options to the zoning board for public hearing in January.
While recreational cannabis became legal Jan. 1 in Illinois, county zoning Administrator John Hall said the county has had just two inquiries about establishing cannabis businesses.
One was for a transporting business and one was from a prospective craft grower looking to operate in a location where they potentially won’t be permitted, he said.
Hall said the Environment and Land Use Committee could forward a recommendation to the full board for consideration later this month, but since this has been a controversial issue, he’ll advise keeping it at committee level for an additional month to allow more time for public input.
Recreational-marijuana sales totaled $37.2 million in Illinois last month, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced this week, with $29.7 million coming from residents and $7.5 mil-lion from nonresidents.