Andrew W. Holstine

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Medical Marijuana and Municipalities

The Illinois House passed the Medical Cannabis Act (MCA) last week that would go into effect on January 1, 2014, pending Senate approval.  The legislation is extremely lengthy because it addresses everything from how to legally cultivate, sell, possess, and consume medical marijuana, to how cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries will be taxed, licensed, and regulated by various state agencies.  Of particular interest is the impact the MCA would have on municipalities.

The MCA specifically limits home rule power and has implications for zoning.  While the legislation provides that local governments “may enact reasonable zoning ordinances and resolutions,” the same section states that local governments “may not unreasonably prohibit the cultivation, dispensing, and use of medical cannabis” as provided by the MCA.  Medical marijuana would be highly regulated under the MCA compared to other states’ equivalent legislation.  For example, a cultivation center must be at least 2,500 feet from schools, day care centers, and residential zones. A center also must implement a comprehensive security and inventory plan, as well as other requirements overseen by the State Police, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the Department of Agriculture.

An item of concern for local governments is the need to review language of existing cannabis and drug paraphernalia ordinances, as well as updating law enforcement personnel of any changes to those ordinances.  The regulation of cannabis would still remain within the realm of local laws, but consideration would need to be given to adapting current cannabis ordinances so as not to run afoul of the MCA’s provisions for legal cultivation, sales, and possession of cannabis.  For example, a general cannabis ordinance may be considered unenforceable unless its language and/or severability provisions are properly crafted to exempt legally owned cannabis from cannabis grown, bought, sold, consumed, or possessed outside the Act.

ZRFM will continue to monitor the progress and implications of the MCA.  Consult your local government attorney for more information on the MCA and how to review and update your municipality’s ordinances if the MCA becomes law.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

ZRFM Adds Litigation, Estates, Local Government Lawyers

Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois, has added three lawyers who will assist clients in the firm’s civil litigation, estates and trusts, local government, personal injury, and business transactions practices. The new attorneys bring ZRFM’s lawyer count to 21.

David J. Loughnane has practiced law since 1972 in Illinois and Wisconsin. Loughnane’s state and federal civil litigation and trial work involving personal injury, healthcare, privacy and employment law have resulted in more than 60 jury verdicts and several verdicts in bench trials. He is a certified mediator and is counsel to the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois.

Andrew W. Holstine has practiced law since 2001. Holstine joins ZRFM after working as a business lawyer for a Northbrook-based estate planning boutique. He focuses on gift tax planning, legacy planning, estate and trust administration, succession planning, and business transactional work. He is vice president of the Chicago Farmers, a group of professionals and investors interested in production agriculture and agribusiness.

William C. Westfall is a first year associate concentrating on local government law and municipal traffic code enforcement. Westfall is a 2011 graduate of Northern Illinois University College of Law and a 2008 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

“We’re extremely pleased that David Loughnane, Andrew Holstine and William Westfall have joined our firm,” says managing partner Richard G. Flood. “During a time when many law firms are experiencing layoffs and downsizing, Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle is proud to be building up its practices by hiring new and experienced attorneys. We are very pleased to have these lawyers serve our clients.”

For more information about these lawyers, please view the professional biographies of David Loughnane, Andrew Holstine and William Westfall.

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Holstine Article Featured in McHenry County Business Journal

The article below, written by Andrew W. Holstine, originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of the McHenry County Business Journal. To read the Business Journal online, visit Biz-Journal.com.

Business Success Reflects Succession

by Andrew Holstine

Building a successful business takes a combination of determination, hard work, and a little bit of luck – among other things.

For many small-business owners, the question of a succession plan can be difficult. One of the more common reasons is that business owners are not certain how to plan all the things they need to consider and potential solutions.

This makes it easier to postpone.

Although understandable, you are doing your family and your company a disservice by not taking a more long-term view. Developing a succession plan creates certainty and peace of mind. But it also can be a catalyst for business growth.

This type of planning frequently invigorates key employees, refocuses attention on long-term strategies and demonstrates your engagement in the ongoing best interests of your employees and customers.

There are three events – retirement, disability and death – that require a person to sell or transition their business. And each raises different issues. A one-size-fits-all solution is rare. However, there are answers once you take the time necessary to dig in and address the questions.

First, you need to establish clear goals. Who are you planning for? Yourself? Your spouse? Your employees? Your customers?

A business owner transitioning into retirement  might want to be involved in taking care of key relationships but prefer to ease away from daily responsibilities.

There also might be one or more key employees who are capable of running the business and taking care of the customers. In this instance, you might choose to allow that employee to make payments over time, adopt an employee stock ownership plan, or adopt an incentive or equity compensation plan, all depending on what is right for both you and your employees.

If your goal, instead, is to protect your spouse and family in the event of your untimely death, your plan likely will be more about easing the burden on your spouse and family. One way to do this is by funding a cash buyout with life insurance proceeds, a simple way to ensure financial security.

Avoid mistakes such as an unfunded buy/sell agreement, dated valuations, or misplaced reliance on a family member or an employee to take over the business.

Once you have identified your goals, it becomes a lot easier to find solutions. At this point, involve advisers such as your attorney, accountant, lender and/or financial planner. Experienced advisers help bring your goals into focus, quickly identifying options and ensuring that nothing is overlooked. They also help you implement a succession plan.

We all are familiar with the adage “too many cooks spoil the broth.” But trying to do all of this on your own can be a recipe for problems.

Once you create your plan, do not throw it in a drawer and forget it. At a minimum, an annual review lets you take stock of changes in your personal life, your financial goals, your employees and all other relevant factors that impact your plan.

After all, you get only one opportunity to exit your business. Consider the risks you took and time and effort you spent building your business, creating a winning succession strategy that brings certainty and security to both you and your family makes sense.

Andrew Holstine is an attorney with Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle in Crystal Lake focusing on estate planning, probate and business law. He can be reached at 815-459-2050.