Recreational Cannabis Information

The state of Illinois has approved the use of recreational cannabis, beginning Jan. 1, 2020. This decision will allow the use of recreational cannabis (with restrictions) in all Illinois municipalities, including Elgin. Below is more information on recreational cannabis in the City of Elgin.

In late 2019, Elgin officials approved several ordinances that will allow for recreational cannabis to be sold in Elgin. The first ordinance places regulations on the number and location of dispensaries and cultivation centers allowed in Elgin. The second ordinance provides regulations regarding the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of cannabis in the city as well as business registration requirements. A third ordinance enacts a three percent tax on the sale of cannabis products.

You can view City of Elgin local ordinances here:
Function: Craft growers are a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and authorized to cultivate, dry, cure, and package cannabis as well as perform other necessary activities to make cannabis available for sale at a dispensing organization or use at a processing organization. Currently, craft growers shall be contained within a completely enclosed building. In addition to those documents required for any application for a conditional use, an application for a conditional use shall also include an odor control plan.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers craft grower licenses and provides the license application.

Zoning: Craft growers may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for conditional use, please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Function: A cultivation center is defined as a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to cultivate, process, transport and perform necessary activities to provide cannabis and cannabis-infused products to licensed cannabis business establishments.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture has processed Early Approval Adult Use Cultivation Center licenses, which apply to existing medical cultivation centers seeking authority to cultivate for recreational purposes. For more information on subsequent cultivation licenses please call the Department at 217.782.2172.

Zoning: Cultivation centers may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for conditional use, please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use Application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Function: A dispensing organization (medical and adult-use) is a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to acquire cannabis from licensed cannabis business establishments for the purpose of selling or dispensing cannabis, cannabis-infused products, cannabis seeds, paraphernalia or related supplies to purchasers or to qualified registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation regulates dispensary licenses and more information on the agency’s licensure process can be found here.

Zoning: Dispensing organizations may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for “conditional use," please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use Application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline. In addition to all state-imposed minimum distance limits, a dispensing organization shall not be located within two hundred fifty feet (250’) of the property line of a pre-existing public or private preschool or elementary or secondary school or daycare center, daycare home, group daycare home, part day childcare facility, college, or university, or a publicly owned or operated park or forest preserve.

Function: An infuser organization or infuser is a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to directly incorporate cannabis or cannabis concentrate into a product formulation to produce a cannabis-infused product.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers infuser licenses and provides the license application.

Zoning: Infuser organizations may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for conditional use, please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use Application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Function: A processing organization or processor is a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to either extract constituent chemicals or compounds to produce cannabis concentrate or incorporate cannabis or cannabis concentrate into a product formulation to produce a cannabis product.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers processor licenses and provides the license application.

Zoning: Processing organizations may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for conditional use, please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use Application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Function: A transporting organization or transporter is an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to transport cannabis on behalf of a cannabis business establishment or a community college licensed under the Community College Cannabis Vocational Training Pilot Program.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers transporting organization licenses and provides the license application.

Zoning: Transporting organizations may be allowed as a conditional use by the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. For more information on applying for conditional use, please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920. Staff can provide a Conditional Use Application packet and verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Function: A testing facility is a facility or portion thereof operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to test cannabis for potency and contaminants.

Licensure: The Illinois Department of Agriculture administers testing facility licenses and provides the license application.

Zoning

The following types of cannabis business may be allowed as a conditional use in the NB, AB, CC1, and CC2 districts:

  • Adult-use cannabis dispensing organizations 
  • Medical cannabis dispensing organizations 

The following types of cannabis business may be allowed as a conditional use in the GI, ORI, and CI districts:

  • Adult-use cannabis cultivation center
  • Adult-use cannabis craft grower
  • Adult-use cannabis processing organization
  • Adult-use cannabis infuser organization
  • Adult-use cannabis transportation organization

Cannabis testing facilities are only allowed as a permitted use in the GI, ORI, and CI districts.

Districts

  • NB District - Neighborhood Business
  • AB - Area Business
  • CC1 - Center City 1
  • CC2 - Center City 2
  • GI - General Industrial
  • ORI - Office Research Industrial
  • CI - Commercial Industrial

For the official City of Elgin Zoning Map, click here.

Recreational Cannabis FAQs

Is a license required to operate a cannabis establishment in Illinois? 

Yes. The Illinois Office of Cannabis Control shall issue licenses for all dispensing organizations. Dispensing organizations are defined as a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to acquire cannabis from a cultivation center, craft grower, processing organization or another dispensary for the purpose of selling or dispensing cannabis, cannabis-infused products, cannabis seeds, paraphernalia or related supplies to purchasers or to qualified registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

Is a license required to operate a cannabis establishment in the City of Elgin?

An Illinois state business license is required to register annually with the City of Elgin. There is no charge for registration. A business license from Elgin is also required.

What is a conditional use?

Conditional use is a zoning term for uses (businesses) that have to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis through a public hearing review process. Applicants must submit a Development Application for the conditional use. The City’s Planning and Zoning Commission conducts the public hearing, considers the application, and makes a recommendation to City Council. Lastly, City Council reviews the recommendation and makes the final decision on whether or not to approve the application.

What is a permitted use?

Permitted use is zoning term for uses (businesses) which are allowed “by-right,” meaning the applicant can directly apply for a commercial occupancy permit to operate from within a commercial space or a building, or apply for a building permit to complete any interior or exterior renovation/construction necessary to open up the businesses. If any renovation/construction work is necessary, the occupancy permit and a certificate of occupancy are issued after all construction is completed and the commercial space has been approved for occupancy.

How do I apply for a conditional use to open a cannabis business?

Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-931-5920 for a Conditional Use Application packet. Staff will verify the proposed location of the business qualifies for the proposed cannabis business and will explain the conditional use approval process and timeline.

Does the City limit the number of cannabis businesses?

No. The City of Elgin does not have restrictions on how many adult-use cannabis businesses can be approved.
However, be advised that the State of Illinois requires a 1,500-foot separation between certain types of cannabis businesses. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act is available here.

What materials are required to be submitted with the application for a conditional use?

The documents that need to be submitted include:
  • Application;
  • Application fee;
  • Legal description of the property in Microsoft Word Format;
  • Consent and Disclosure (varies based on who the applicant and property owner is. Please Contact Community Development Department at 847.931.5920 for more information specific to your application).
  • Plat of Survey;
  • Development plans (including but not limited to: site plan, landscape plan, floor plans, elevations, outdoor lighting plan, signage plan, etc., as applicable)
  • Statement of Purpose and Conformance (businesses operations narrative, which also addresses standards for approval of conditional uses);
  • A complete copy of all applications and plans submitted for required state licenses;
  • An inventory control plan;
  • A floor plan;
  • A plan for the removal, recycling, disposal, and/or destruction of cannabis waste;
  • A security and outdoor lighting plan. The Elgin Police Department shall review the items required by this subsection and forward its recommendation regarding same to the Planning & Zoning Commission prior to the public hearing for the conditional use.; and
  • An odor control plan, if applicable. 
Please contact the Community Development Department for staff to determine if any additional materials specific to your application are required to be submitted.

What is the application fee for conditional use applications?

In most instances, if the zoning approval necessary for the proposed cannabis business is only the conditional use approval, the application fee would be $1,440 + $160 per street frontage of the property where the business would be located (due to the need to place a zoning hearing sign on each street frontage). However, some applications may require other types of zoning approval based on any proposed changes to the property. Please contact city staff at 847-931-5920 prior to submitting the conditional use application so that staff can verify your proposal does not require any other type of zoning approval.

How long does it take to get conditional use approval to open a cannabis business establishment?

The conditional use approval process (sometimes referred to as the zoning approval process) takes 60-90 days on average from the date the City receives a complete application to final determination by the City Council to approve or deny a conditional use application. 

Please note, if the City Council approves the conditional use for a cannabis business establishment, additional time should be allotted for the building permit and occupancy permit review, and any build-out necessary for the business operation. Before the issuance of an occupancy permit or otherwise opening to the public, the applicant must file a copy of all required state licenses to operate the cannabis business establishment that must be submitted to the City.
A cannabis business establishment may start operating after the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued by the City of Elgin following the completion of all construction activities and submittal of all necessary state approvals.

Do I have to have a State of Illinois License before I apply for a Conditional Use to open a cannabis business?

The City will not start the review of, or otherwise process, the conditional use application before receiving a document demonstrating the applicant has received the necessary approvals from the State of Illinois. Once State approvals are provided, the time for the City’s review of the conditional use application will depend on the completeness of the application submitted and the number of other development applications that must also go through the public hearing review process.

Where are Cannabis Businesses allowed in Elgin?

The list of zoning districts where a particular cannabis business establishment is allowed as a conditional use or a permitted use is listed here.

Where can I find the City of Elgin zoning map.

The City of Elgin zoning map can be found here.
 
Are there any requirements for Cannabis Businesses that I need to be aware of?

Most cannabis business establishments are required to be located 250’ from a public or private preschool or elementary or secondary school or daycare center, daycare home, group daycare home, part-day childcare facility, college, or university, or a publicly owned or operated park or forest preserve.
 
The State of Illinois Cannabis Craft Grower application includes an Exhibit O, which must be filled out by local zoning authority.  To whom should I submit this form to?

The Exhibit O: Notice of Proper Zoning for State of Illinois Cannabis Craft Grower license applications will be filled out and signed by the Community Development Department of the City of Elgin. Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-93-5920 for more information about what other information may be required to be submitted to the City with Exhibit O.
 
Where can I find more information about the City of Elgin zoning regulations or any other pertinent City regulations pertaining to cannabis businesses?

The City of Elgin established the zoning regulations for adult-use cannabis businesses by adopting Ordinance No. G63-19, available here.
 

  1. Community Development

    Physical Address
    150 Dexter Court
    Elgin, IL 60120

    Phone: 847-931-5920
    Fax: 847-931-6790