The Palatine Village Council Monday rejected plans for a tobacco shop amid concerns about products that could have "alternative" uses.
Palatine resident Wilson John had requested a permit to open the store at 401 N. Northwest Hwy. John already owns a shop in Villa Park.
Palatine Police Chief John Koziol said undercover Palatine police officers visited the Villa Park store on June 29 and found bongs and other items typically used to smoke marijuana.
"Some were disguised as fruit," Koziol said.
Koziol said officers also asked about "herbal incense." Koziol said such products are a kind of synthetic marijuana.
Koziol said John brought out a box from under the counter that contained glass vials. He said the officer asked "What happens if I smoke those?" and John replied "You get high, but I don't recommend that."
Later, the police officers returned and identified themselves as law enforcement. Koziol said that John told the officers he had no plans to sell bongs, herbal incense or similar products in Palatine.
John addressed the Village Council and said he would not be selling any incense in Palatine and that the store would feature cigarettes, cigars, and traditional pipes and pipe tobacco.
"I don't see any benefit whatsoever in adding an establishment like this to Palatine," District 6 Council member Brad Helms said. "And I am certainly not going to support this."
The council voted unanimously to reject the proposal.
Koziol said a parent had expressed concerns about the herbal essence products and why they were legal.
"The minute the statutes change to make them illegal, they're just chemically altered to avoid that statute," Koziol said. "So they are very difficult to enforce."
District 1 Council Member Aaron Del Mar asked the village staff to look into the products and to begin putting together an ordinance to ban them.