Zoning board backs medical marijuana dispensary for Lansing – nwitimes.com

LANSING | The village’s planning and zoning board gave its support Wednesday to the concept of a medical marijuana dispensary within municipal boundaries, although officials said it if far from a done deal that such a facility will ever locate here.

The zoning board voted 6-0, with commissioners George McNamara and Jerry Klein absent, in favor of recommending the desire of Chicago businessman Donald Hirsch to locate a facility at 17725 Vollbrecht Road — which is an industrial area on the far west edge of Lansing.

The measure now goes to the full Village Board, where it could be voted on when they meet Oct. 21. But it ultimately will be Illinois state officials who will decide if Lansing gets to be the site of such a facility.

Hirsch himself said he’s not sure what his chances are of succeeding. His proposal is one of seven applications submitted to the state for locations in Thornton or Bloom townships, and state officials have said only one facility will be located in those two townships.

“Nobody knows how the state is judging applications, so I don’t know how good my chances are,” Hirsch said.

State officials, who began accepting applications for licenses for marijuana dispensaries in recent weeks, have said they hope to start licensing facilities near the end of this year.

Before getting zoning board support, Hirsch explained the amount of work he plans to put into renovating the existing structure to turn it into a place where people with legitimate medical needs can purchase marijuana.

There will be security monitoring who is able to enter the facility, and outer walls will be made of solid materials, and not cinderblock.

“No one is going to be able to knock a hole in the wall, wrap a chain around the vault containing the product and drive away with it,” Hirsch …read more