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Companies seek approval for medical marijuana dispensary in Sycamore

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 11:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 12:24 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – Two companies eyeing spots for medical marijuana dispensaries in Sycamore are in the process of gaining city approval while awaiting the state’s application period to begin.

The Sycamore Planning Commission voted Monday to recommend plans for dispensaries at 1985 and 2225 Gateway Drive for approval by the Sycamore City Council.

The Dispensary LLC gained city approval in April 2015 for a dispensary at 1985 Gateway Drive, but the company’s special use permit is set to expire next month.

The company’s plan for Sycamore was not approved in time to be among the first group of applicants considered for the state’s medical marijuana pilot program. Of 60 dispensary districts in Illinois, DeKalb County was one of three without an initial applicant.

The Dispensary LLC currently operates a medical marijuana dispensary in Fulton.

The 2022 LLC location is petitioning to operate a dispensary in an existing building at 2225 Gateway Drive. The company has dispensaries in Rockford and in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Both proposed dispensaries would be located near other medical facilities on Gateway Drive.

The DeKalb City Council on Monday approved a zoning request from Justice Grown for a medical marijuana dispensary at 650 Peace Road.

Although multiple proposals are gaining local support, state regulators will grant only one license to operate a dispensary in DeKalb County.

City Manager Brian Gregory said the state could soon be looking to award more licences for its remaining districts, and this has spiked interest for dispensaries in the county.

“We may have multiple [petitions] in the coming months,” he said. “But at the end of the day, even if more than one is approved at the local zoning level, it means that we could have up to one, but it doesn’t even guarantee that that’s the case.”

Luke DeBatty, a representative for The Dispensary LLC, gave commissioners an overview Monday of security measures in the company’s Fulton location.

DeBatty said state regulations require significant security and 24-hour video monitoring that feeds directly to Illinois State Police.

Loitering is also prohibited by state laws, he said.

“We can’t put benches or anything that would encourage loitering on site,” DeBatty said. “If people are staying there, even if they are staying in their cars in the parking lot, that’s our responsibility as the operators of the dispensary to ask them and tell them that they need to move.” 

The Fulton dispensary has passed all random inspections by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, he said.

Tim Hart, a representative with 2022 LLC, said the dispensaries in Rockford and Lakeview have similar security measures.

“Everything is contained in a vault overnight with motion and vibration sensors,” Hart said. “It really is locked down like a bank.” 

He said the dispensaries usually see no more than two or three patients at a time, as they are able to make appointments and receive one-on-one attention.

Hart said 2022 LLC is also looking at communities in other counties that still have licenses available, but 2225 Gateway Drive is the only location it is petitioning for in DeKalb County.

“We have not been given a date of when the state would release the applications,” Hart said. “We were told they’re hopefully coming soon.”

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