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Information about Recreational Cannabis in St. Charles

Illinois Law Effective Jan. 1, 2020

The possession and private consumption of cannabis by people 21 or older for recreational use is legal in Illinois as of Jan. 1, 2020. However, municipalities may choose whether or not to allow retail cannabis stores in their communities.

Read a Fact Sheet about the new law from the State of Illinois here. For more information about legal cannabis in Illinois, visit

New Cannabis Law Explained

St. Charles Police Chief Jim Keegan, along with Mayor Ray Rogina and City Administrator Mark Koenen, outlines the State's Recreational Cannabis Law in this video.

Currently there is one medical cannabis dispensary that has been operating in St. Charles since 2015.

Recreational Cannabis Sales in St. Charles

The St. Charles City Council has approved recreational cannabis sales in St. Charles with these stipulations:

  1. A maximum of two recreational dispensaries may operate in St. Charles.
  2. Recreational dispensaries will only be allowed in the community business zoning districts and regional business zoning districts. Generally, these zoning districts include Main Street/IL Rte. 64 outside the downtown, and also IL Rte. 38 and Randall Road on the west side.
  3. Only one recreational dispensary may operate on the East Side of St. Charles.
  4. Only one recreational dispensary may operate on the West Side of St. Charles.
  5. Cannabis retailers must be located at least 250 feet away from the property line of any school, day care, church or single-family residence.
  6. No public consumption of cannabis is allowed.
  7. On-site consumption lounges are prohibited.
  8. Cultivation centers are prohibited.
  9. Any other cannabis-related businesses are prohibited.
  10. One retail cannabis dispensary must have at least one year of consecutive experience operating a medical cannabis dispensary in St. Charles; the other dispensary must have one year of consecutive experience in the State of Illinois.

What happens if a recreational cannabis dispensary chooses to operate in St. Charles?

The City Council has enacted a local sales tax of 3% on retail cannabis sales. This is in addition to the general merchandise sales tax.

Recreational cannabis dispensaries must meet the following requirements before they will be allowed to operate in St. Charles:

  1. Hold a valid recreational cannabis dispensary license issued from the State of Illinois.
  2. Complete the City of St. Charles Special Use Zoning process:
    • Submit a Special Use Zoning Application that meets the City of St. Charles ordinance requirements.
    • The special use request will be the subject of a Public Hearing and notice will be given to surrounding property owners.
    • Receive recommendation from the Plan Commission.
    • Receive approval from the Planning and Development Committee (Committee of the Whole).
    • Receive approval from the City Council.

What happens if no recreational cannabis dispensary opens in St. Charles?

Private recreational cannabis use is allowed in St. Charles because it is legal throughout the state. It will be legal for citizens to buy cannabis in other cities that have recreational cannabis dispensaries and privately consume cannabis in St. Charles.

The existing medical cannabis dispensary may continue to operate in St. Charles.

updated Mar 02, 2020