Palos Hills may be considering a future medical marijuana dispensary. The city council was approached by Releaf LLC, a medical marijuana dispensary, during last Thursday’s meeting. The company is hoping to open up shop in Palos Hills.
Releaf LLC is a medical marijuana dispensary looking for the opportunity to open up locations in Illinois suburbs. During the course of phone conversations with municipalities, Releaf owner and Orland Park native Michael Perkowski reports positive feedback from Mokena and Palos Hills, with the possibility of adding Tinley Park to the mix. His own home town, Orland Park, shunned the idea of medical marijuana dispensaries, despite Illinois state regulations.
The city has never been approached by anyone looking to open up a medical marijuana dispensary before according to Mayor Jerry Bennett. “The council will take the request under consideration,” he said. The council has not yet discussed zoning regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
By law, Illinois is not allowed to have any more than 60 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Once the dispensaries are open, patients can buy up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks, with dispensaries taxed at 7 percent. Illinois was the 20th state to pass a medical marijuana law. The bill went into effect January 1, but is still taking several months for officials to give dispensaries the go-ahead.
“We would like to have our application in to open up our store tentatively by this August,” Perkowski said, “I know this is something the city will take very cautiously, not very lightly, when considering.”
Perkowski told the council of the positives his facilities can provide.
“I am a business owner, but I am also from this area, and I would like to have medical marijuana be available for those who need it,” Perkowski said. He explained how his mother died of stage four cancer, and medical marijuana helps aid patients in need with pain relief, appetite and the effects of underlying diseases.
“I got into this business to help the community and community members,” he said, “This dispensary will not be used for any recreational drug purposes.”
Releaf LLC also plans to use a 24-hour security system, which will include a door for employees to be buzzed in and out of while entering and exiting the building, video surveillance and live security guards on duty.
Beautification contest underway
The Palos Hills Beautification Committee and the Parks and Community Resource Department are holding their annual Palos Hills Beautification Contest with one major change to this year’s event: residents and businesses must now apply to be judged.
Home and business owners can register to be nominated for the 2014 competition, by picking up an application form at city hall or filling and returning it to the Community Resource Department. Applications will also be mailed out for residents to review and fill out, if they decide to enter the contest, in the next edition of the Palos Hills newsletter.
During the previous six Beautification Contests, judges reviewed all properties within the city, awarding homes and homeowners found to be the most attractive, however, Alderman Martin Kleefisch (1st Ward) who started up the contest in 2007 feels the change is necessary.
“We have had some homeowners in the past who have won and do not want to take part in the event,” he said, “They refuse to come up to the award ceremony and do not want their family’s name or a photo of their home in print.”
Community Resource Department Commissioner Mary Jo Vincent confirmed there are over 80 signs in the department that have not been picked up by winners throughout the past six years of the event.
Judging will be based on the following categories; general appearance of buildings, fencing and edging and overall landscaping, particularly lawns, shrubs, color accents, evergreens and trees. Contest awards are given out to single-family residences, businesses, multiple-family residences, churches and schools throughout the city.