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Adult-Use Cannabis Virtual Public Forum

We invite the community to provide input on proposed zoning amendments that would permit adult-use cannabis businesses subject to restrictions in unincorporated Lake County. Use this site to learn more about the zoning text amendment process and send questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions directly to our project team.

All interested residents are invited to attend virtual public hearings on Monday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m.

Adult-Use Cannabis Presentation

Zoning Amendments Process


• Public Works, Planning & Transportation Committee (PWPT)
• Recommended Initiation of Formal Process

JANUARY-FEBRUARY• Lake County Board Meeting: February 9, 2021
• Directed Zoning Board of Appeals to hold public hearings to consider adopting zoning regulations
APRILLake County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to hold public hearings:
•  Monday, April 19, 5:30 pm: Register
•  Wednesday, April 21, 1 pm: Register
•  Continuation date and time for a third hearing, if needed, will be announced at the conclusion of the April 21   hearing. The ZBA will deliberate and make a recommendation after testimony has concluded on or after the April 21 hearing.
APRIL-MAY• PWPT Committee Meeting: Consider ZBA recommendation
MAY-JUNE• Lake County Board Meeting: Consider PWPT recommendation

SECTION 1: Background Info and Current Status

While consumption of adult-use cannabis is legal throughout the state of Illinois, cannabis related businesses are currently not allowed in unincorporated Lake County. In February 2021, the Lake County Board passed a resolution that began the formal process to consider zoning regulations to allow adult-use cannabis businesses in unincorporated Lake County under specific conditions and with certain restrictions. 

The Lake County Board is seeking public input on the proposed zoning regulations as part of a comprehensive approach to consider cannabis business locations, signage, the number of cannabis businesses allowed within a certain area, and much more. Types of adult-use cannabis businesses that would be allowed to operate include: 

  • Dispensaries (retail sales)
  • Growers  
  • Processors 
  • Transporters

More information on the types of businesses, as well as the state law and municipalities' regulatory status can be accessed by clicking on the icons above.

*The Interactive Regulatory Mapping Tool was developed by Lake County staff as part of the 2019 Lake County Recreational Cannabis Task Force to allow users to evaluate various options in regulating cannabis facility locations based on proximity to various land use types. Please be aware that although steps were taken to verify the accuracy of the data contained in the tool, it is a composite of data, from many sources, that are subject to change without notice. Access to and use of the website, content and other information are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. The mapping tool is not a regulatory document, is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on in making any investment decisions. Any results should be independently verified before any final actions are taken.

SECTION 2: What is Proposed

Proposed text amendments to be considered by the Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act was signed into law in 2019 and went into effect on January 1, 2020. The Act legalized the use and possession of cannabis for those over the age of 21 (subject to certain limitations). The Act allows local governments to enact reasonable zoning regulations related to time, place, manner, and number of adult use cannabis business operations as well as minimum distances between business locations, so long as those regulations are not in conflict with the Act.

The proposed amendments to the Lake County, Illinois Code of Ordinances would permit a variety of adult-use cannabis businesses, as allowed under state statute, to operate in unincorporated Lake County, subject to certain restrictions. These amendments were drafted following the conclusion of the one-year moratorium and are based on best practices and research conducted during that time and from previous work completed by the Lake County Recreational Cannabis Task Force in 2019, following the Act’s passage. 

Per the draft zoning regulations, six different types of adult-use cannabis facilities would be allowed to operate within the General Commercial and Industrial zoning districts. Transportation facilities would be allowed by right within the industrial zones, and all other uses would have to obtain a delegated conditional use permit. (No adult-use cannabis businesses would be permitted to operate in Residential zoning districts.) Zoning regulations on operational standards have been structured into three sections and address the following:

  • Buffering from “Sensitive Uses”
  • Setbacks from the facility structure to property lines
  • Parking requirements
  • Signage and Exterior Display Restrictions
  • Security
  • Hours of operation and floor area limitations
  • Prohibition on drive-throughs and onsite consumption

Proposed Zoning Table

This table shows the proposed uses and the specific zoning districts each business would be allowed to operate in. Facilities would be allowed to operate in any of the residential zoning districts. Within the General Commercial zoning district, four of the six uses would be permitted with an approved conditional use permit, and cultivation centers and transporters would not be allowed in GC, since those facilities are typically larger in size and better suited to the industrial zoning districts. Within the Limited Industrial and the Intensive Industrial Districts, transporting facilities would be allowed by right, since such facilities would be comparable to other warehousing and freight movement companies, which are currently permitted by right in the industrial districts.

SECTION 3: Provide Input!

SECTION 4: Get Involved!

SECTION 5: More Info

Please note: There are many resources available online about cannabis and cannabis consumption. The following are some links to a few examples of information and resources that are available and are provided for informational purposes only.