It remains to be seen whether the state of Illinois will grant a license for a recreational cannabis dispensary in Brookfield, but elected officials paved the way for the possibility on Dec. 9, with trustees voting 5-1 to amend the zoning code to allow dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses as special uses in the village’s commercial and industrial districts.

Trustee Brian Conroy was the sole no vote on the amendments to the zoning code, restating his opposition to allowing dispensaries in the downtown and Eight Corners business districts, whose restaurants and other retailers attract families.

“These districts are destinations for families and kids alike,” Conroy said. “To the extent we are able, I think we should promote and endorse family-friendly businesses in these two particular districts.”

While cannabis dispensaries will be allowed as special uses in all commercial districts, their presence will be restricted additionally by a provision in the code that requires them to be more than 100 feet from a pre-existing school or daycare center.

As a result, dispensaries would not be allowed on Broadway Avenue west of the Veterans Memorial Circle due to the presence of S.E. Gross Middle School and Alphabet Learning Center and on a portion of the 3400 block of Maple Avenue due to the presence of Montessori Children’s Community.

Dispensaries also would not be allowed on a good portion of the west side of the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard due to the presence of Alphabet Learning Center’s location there.

Prior to a dispensary or other cannabis-related business being allowed anywhere in the village, the owners must apply for a special use permit, which triggers a public hearing before the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission and final approval by the village board, which can impose other conditions for the business.

While dispensaries will be allowed as special uses in all commercial districts, other related business, such as craft growers, infusers and transportation companies will be limited to industrial zones, either along 47th Street or between Southview Avenue and the BNSF tracks, west of Maple Avenue.

Local cannabis biz seeking license

There’s at least one locally owned corporation seeking a location for a cannabis dispensary, and one of its co-owners told the Landmark on Dec. 9 that the company would like to open shop in either the Eight Corners district or near the downtown train station.

“Now that the zoning is done, we can move forward and hopefully get a license from the state,” said Nicole Deutsch, a Brookfield resident and co-owner of Lady Budz LLC, a corporation formed in early December, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.

Deutsch said Lady Budz LLC will apply for a dispensary license by the state’s Jan. 1 deadline, and that she hoped the company would be awarded one of the 75 new dispensary licenses (47 in Cook County alone) the state will create next year.

The state’s existing 55 medical cannabis dispensaries had first crack at obtaining licenses for recreational cannabis sales, and the state has already started awarding those licenses.

Deutsch said that Lady Budz LLC ought to know the fate of its application next May.

Asked if the company was looking at locations outside of Brookfield, Deutsch said they had been, but that Brookfield’s approval of zoning for cannabis businesses has now narrowed their focus.

“This is our main focus, to stay in the community,” said Deutsch, confirming they’d prefer an Eight Corners or downtown location over Ogden Avenue or 31st Street. “That’s where we’re looking. I think there’s a lot of opportunity, open spaces.”