Adult-Use Recreational Cannabis Fact Sheet

Latest Update

At its Oct. 15, 2019, meeting, the Naperville City Council voted 6-3 to adopt a resolution establishing an adult-use cannabis referendum for the March 17, 2020 election. The Council also voted 7-2 to adopt the following language for the referendum question: "Shall the City of Naperville, in light of state legislation legalizing the possession, consumption, and sale of recreational adult use cannabis, allow the sale of recreational adult-use cannabis within its jurisdiction?"

What is the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act?

On June 25, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA) into law. The CRTA goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and legalizes and regulates the production, consumption, and sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois. The CRTA allows Illinois residents over the age of 21 to possess and privately use recreational cannabis in limited quantities; however, use of cannabis in public places is prohibited. The State of Illinois legalized the production, consumption, and sale of medical cannabis in Illinois as of January 1, 2014.

Read the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

What does this law allow municipalities to do?

The CRTA allows Illinois municipalities to choose whether they will allow (“opt in”) or prohibit (“opt out”) the local retail sale of adult-use cannabis by businesses within their jurisdiction.

What has the City of Naperville done to date?

At its September 3 meeting, following more than three hours of public comment from 238 registered speakers on this topic, the City Council voted 6-3 to pass the ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments other than medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations (the “opt-out” option). The Council also directed staff to prepare a report within 60 days that would advise Council regarding placing an advisory (non-binding) referendum question on a future election ballot.

As stated above, at its October 15, 2019 meeting, the City Council voted 6-3 to adopt a resolution establishing an adult-use cannabis referendum for the March 17, 2020 election.

What is next for the City of Naperville?

Naperville’s Municipal Code currently includes local regulations concerning cannabis possession that need to be amended to be consistent with the new state law. The CRTA pre-empts home rule authority and does not allow municipalities to regulate personal possession and use of cannabis in any way that goes against state law. At its upcoming November 19, 2019 meeting, the City Council will be asked to review and approve amendments that will ensure that the City is compliant with the CRTA. The amendments will also grant the Police Department the discretion to charge persons with local ordinance violations if they violate provisions of the CRTA. This is Agenda item I12 (File #19-1128)

What happens on January 1, 2020?

The following acts will no longer be a criminal or civil offense:

1) Possession, consumption, use, purchase, obtaining or transporting an amount of cannabis for personal use by those Illinois residents 21 years of age or older that does not exceed:
     a. 30 grams of cannabis flower,
     b. 500 milligrams of THC infused product,
     c. 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and
     d. 30 grams of raw cannabis for a qualifying patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act

2) Possession, consumption, use, purchase, obtaining or transporting an amount of cannabis for personal use by those non-Illinois residents 21 years of age or older that does not exceed:
     a. 15 grams of cannabis flower,
     b. 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and
     c. 250 milligrams of THC infused product

3) Cultivation of cannabis for personal use by those 21 years of age or older who are registered qualifying patients under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act

The CRTA does not permit the use of cannabis as follows:

1) In a school bus unless otherwise permitted for a qualifying patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act,
2) On the grounds of a preschool, primary, or secondary school unless otherwise permitted for a qualifying patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act,
3) In any correctional facility,
4) In any motor vehicle,
5) In a private residence that is used at any time to provide licensed child care or similar social service care,
6) In any public place, or
7) Knowingly in close proximity to anyone under the age of 21 who is not a qualifying patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act

What has been discussed by the Naperville City Council on this topic?

July 16, 2019 City Council Meeting

On July 16, the City Council considered a joint request from Grassroots Cannabis and Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to be allowed to begin operating adult-use cannabis dispensaries in the City of Naperville on January 1, 2020. Representatives from the two businesses made presentations and 15 speakers spoke both for and against allowing the sale of adult-use recreational cannabis in Naperville. After approximately 2.5 hours of discussion, the City Council voted 5-4 to direct staff to bring back an ordinance opting out, or prohibiting, the local retail sale of adult-use recreational cannabis at its next meeting.

Watch the Discussion 
(Agenda item: N1 (File #19-689), 1:50:54)

August 20, 2019 City Council Meeting

On August 20, the City Council held the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments in Naperville. (The ordinance does not include medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations, both of which are permitted by law in the City of Naperville.) The petitioner, GTI, made a presentation and approximately 20 speakers provided input.  After nearly two hours of discussion, the City Council directed staff to bring back two options for consideration: (1) the ordinance prohibiting local adult-use cannabis business establishments; and (2) a plan to establish zoning for adult-use cannabis business establishments. The Council also recommended that staff invite Naperville School District 203, Indian Prairie School District 204 and North Central College to share input regarding the sale of adult-use recreational cannabis.

Watch the Discussion 
(Agenda item: L7 (File #19-809), 5:04:52)

September 3, 2019 City Council Meeting 

At the September 3 meeting, the City Council considered the following two options: (1) pass the ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments other than medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations; and (2) direct staff to proceed with a plan to establish zoning for local adult-use cannabis business establishments.

Following more than three hours of public comment from 238 registered speakers on this topic, the City Council voted 6-3 to pass the ordinance prohibiting adult-use cannabis business establishments other than medical cannabis cultivation centers and medical cannabis dispensing organizations (the “opt-out” option) and directed staff to prepare a report within 60 days that advises Council concerning including an advisory (non-binding) referendum question on a future election ballot. The Council discussed potentially including an adult-use recreational cannabis referendum on one of three possible future election ballots: 3/17/20 (national primary), 11/3/20 (national general) or 4/6/21 (municipal general).

Watch the Discussion
 (Agenda item: K1 (File #19-844), 13:53)

View the Ordinance

How does early issuance of recreational cannabis dispensary licenses from the state impact Naperville’s decision to opt in or out?

On Thursday, August 29, the Chicago Tribune published an article reporting that the state of Illinois had awarded its first five adult-use recreational cannabis dispensary licenses, including a location in Naperville.

At its September 3 meeting, and following more than three hours of public comment from 238 registered speakers on this topic, the City Council voted 6-3 to prohibit adult-use recreational cannabis business establishments in Naperville. The state’s issuance of an adult-use recreational cannabis license to the City’s existing medical cannabis dispensary does not impact this prohibition.

Does the City of Naperville have control over locating dispensaries in unincorporated areas?

On Tuesday, August 27, the Daily Herald published an article reporting that the DuPage County Board is considering whether to allow adult-use recreational cannabis sales in unincorporated areas. An area near Metea Valley High School, a District #204 school located in Aurora, is reportedly one of the three areas in unincorporated DuPage that the county identified as potentially being eligible for locating adult-use recreational cannabis businesses.

DuPage County has not yet taken any final action whether to prohibit or allow adult-use recreational cannabis businesses to locate within unincorporated DuPage County. The county, not the City of Naperville, has jurisdictional control of unincorporated areas and the DuPage County Board has sole authority concerning whether to allow adult-use recreational cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.