GIS as a Tool for State Legislation Compliance

 

In compliance with the Medical Cannabis Act (MCA) that was passed in August 2013, in the state of Illinois, municipalities would like to identify areas of potential impact.  The MCA legislation outlines strict requirements for the licensing of medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation centers.  The state passes the enforcement and regulation of these businesses onto the municipalities.  

*The state guidelines are as follows:

Cultivation Centers– Cannot be located within 2,500 feet of a pre-existing public or private preschool, elementary school, secondary school, day care center, daycare home, group day care home, part day child care facility, or in an area zone for residential use.

Dispensaries– May not be within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing public or private preschool, elementary school, secondary school, day care center, daycare home, group day care home, or part day child care facility, or in an area zoned for residential use.

The GIS Department of Wheeling put together visual aids identifying how Wheeling is affected by the MCA legislation.  The process consisted of collecting the location data for all private and public schools and daycares within the village and neighboring communities as well as the zoning information.  A buffer was applied to each of them based on the distance outlined in the legislation.  With the buffered zones placed over parcels, the village was able to identify if and where cultivation centers or dispensaries were allowed to apply for licenses within the Village of Wheeling.

This is just the first step in identifying how the Medical Cannabis Act will affect the Village of Wheeling. The initial study by the GIS Department provides a starting point for this very complex process.

*This is a simplified explanation of the “Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act”