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3/22 Cannabis in the Chicago Suburbs webinar (CM | 1)

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

How It Started / How It's Going

The year is 2019. Everyone is living their “before times” lives and the Illinois state legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, to take effect January 1, 2020. Professionals scrambled to make sense of the new legislation and prepare their municipalities. Every organization - ILCMA, IMMA, IML, and yes, APA-IL - worked to parse the statue and provide local governments with the guidance they needed to prepare for January 1, 2020.

Fast forward to 2023. What’s the “glow up” since legalizing cannabis? How has it really played out? Major new sources regularly cover the abundant and complex up’s and down’s of legal cannabis in the City of Chicago. We’ll focus on suburban communities, from what their ordinances look like to what the impacts have been. Bring your curiosity, bring your questions, and let’s dive in.

TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


  • $12 APA-IL Members

  • $18 Non-members

  • $6 Students

CM CREDITS: 1.0 CM pending



Angela Mesaros, AICP | Village of Homewood

Angela Mesaros serves as Director of Economic and Community Development for the Village of Homewood. Homewood has adopted a new zoning ordinance that modernizes use categories and provides for community sustainability. A primary focus is revitalization of downtown Homewood through Transit Oriented Development, business attraction, and support of existing businesses. Angela holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the board of the Homewood Arts Council and the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority.

Colleen Malec, AICP | Village of Mundelein

Colleen Malec, AICP is a Senior Planner for the Village of Mundelein, where she will be celebrating her 10-year anniversary this fall. Colleen spends her days guiding developers and businesses through the entitlement process, working on long-range planning for the community, managing various boards and commissions, and all of the other bits that come with local government. She spends her weekends playing board games, kayaking, and camping. Fun fact: She is an avid artist and always has a desk full of doodles on post-it notes.

Nathan Bruemmer | Village of Niles

Nathan Bruemmer has been working as a Planner for the Village of Niles since 2019. Prior to that, he interned for the Village of Schiller Park and the Chicago Loop Alliance. Nathan holds a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois - Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago. In his free time he enjoys exploring the Chicagoland area by bike and foot.

Valerie Berstene | Village of Homewood (moderator)

Valerie Berstene is a registered architect and a certified urban planner working as an urban planner for the Village of Homewood in south suburban Cook County. Valerie brings innovative solutions and community input to complex three-dimensional projects, whether designing a physical space or crafting policy. She is a member of the ULI Chicago Public Policy Committee and Assistant Director of APA-IL Chicago Metro Section. Valerie spends her free time outside- refereeing rugby; exploring cities on foot, bike, or transit; enjoying neighborhood and national parks.



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