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Cannabis roundup

Friday, Aug 23, 2019

* The Illinois Municipal League has taken a very conservative approach to informing its members about the new cannabis legalization law. So, some legislators have taken it upon themselves to provide more information…

The offices of Representative Kelly Cassidy, Senator Heather Steans, Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, and Senator Toi Hutchinson are releasing a Local Government toolkit for the implementation of HB 1438, or the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act. All offices have received requests for assistance and information from governments across the state on the steps they need to take before implementation in their jurisdictions. Within the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act legislators took specific steps to allow local governments to determine whether and how they would allow cannabis businesses and dispensaries within their jurisdiction.

“We are giving local governments the control they have asked for and many have already started making decisions and voting on their ordinances,” said Senator Steans, D-Chicago.

While possession and private consumption will be legal throughout the state, some governments may decide to opt out, while others will seek to go even further than the state law does in terms of social equity and inclusion. This toolkit outlines various ways to go about that process.

“We believe this toolkit will be most useful to smaller local governments that may not have the staff and resources to look into the details of the new law,” said Rep. Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria.

While organizations such as the Illinois Municipal League have compiled recommendations as well, they are focused solely on how to ‘opt out’ rather than offering the full scope of possibilities. The toolkit discusses the wide variety of options available to local governments. They have the ability to establish zoning conditions for placement of cannabis businesses, impose additional taxes, add equity provisions such as fee waivers and loans, and allow social use spaces or ‘lounges’ for consumption.

“Think of everything in the bill as a floor, not a ceiling. This is just the beginning - there is still room for change. We are allowing local governments to work on their equity provisions as they see fit,” said Senator Hutchinson, D-Park Forest.

The toolkit also provides example city ordinances and links to corresponding parts of the law itself. Governments can use ordinances created by cities such as San Francisco, Denver, and Las Vegas to model their own implementation of the Cannabis Tax and Regulation Act. The intention is to leave as much as possible up to local governments, while providing them the tools necessary to implement legalization to best suit the needs of their communities.

The toolkit is here.

…Adding… Ryan P. McLaughlin…

Brad Cole, as mayor of Carbondale, decriminalized marijuana 15 years ago.

Nice. Give him a medal and tell him to start leading now.

* Ignorance about the new law abounds. From a member of the Effingham Daily News editorial board

It’s my opinion this state shouldn’t have legalized alcohol’s “leafy cousin” until it had answers for the questions being pondered by the Effingham County Board, et al, such as: What happens when an employee or applicant tests positive for it? What are the employers’ legal rights? What are the rights of the potential hire/employee? And there are other concerns. The fact remains that marijuana in recent times was considered a “gateway” drug. What happened to that theory? Did it just cease to be now that states are legalizing it?

The employer/employee questions can be answered with a quick Google search. For instance

The Act provides employers with strong workplace protections, more than any other state that has legalized marijuana use.

And the theory about cannabis being a gateway drug is still being pushed by some folks. It’s not really a great argument, however. For one, legalization takes weed out of the hands of illegal drug dealers, who likely have other, more potent drugs available for customers. Legal dispensaries will not be selling heroin, cocaine or crack. Again, try the Google.

* Related…

* Weed-bill sponsors worry local governments will get greedy - If municipalities and counties charge the maximum tax of 6 percent, it could cut into legalized sales, legislators warn
.
* The high road: Cannabis will be legal in Illinois as of Jan. 1 and Beloit police are worried: “You’re talking Madison here,” said South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl. “Like, ‘Oh, my god, Disneyland just moved closer.’” … But with the prospect of a 3% cut of tax revenue from cannabis sales, South Beloit is all in. In a cash-strapped community where property values have remained stagnant for the past decade, it’s a no-brainer for Rehl.

* Chicago ReeferWalk? Marijuana shop eyes river location downtown

* Naperville, after previously leaning toward ban, will consider allowing retail sale of recreational marijuana

* Cannabis growing facility is expanding in Delavan: The company expects to add about 60 new employees once phase 4 is complete, with more jobs on the horizon.

* The growing world of industrial hemp

* Cannabis And Crohn’s Disease

* Vote Favors Starting Zoning Process For St. Charles Pot Retailers

* Rolling Meadows Open To Allowing Recreational Marijuana Sales

* City Council Seeks Clarity On Possible ‘Pot’ Sales: A proposal to allow the retail sale of recreational marijuana in Des Plaines received a major shot-in-the-arm Monday night.

* Plano City Council to soon start recreational marijuana talks: Hausler said he does not know how the full City Council feels about recreational marijuana, but it seems like most are in favor of the city opting in and taxing those sales. He said he also has had discussions with law enforcement about their concerns, including how no one knows for sure how it will affect the city’s police department or calls for service.

* Oswego wants public input on sale of recreational marijuana

* Talks pending in Montgomery on permitting marijuana shops

* Rock Falls officials seek public input on marijuana plans

* Pot in Libertyville: Sound Off at Public Hearing Next Week

* East Peoria public forum presents different views on legal weed

* Bloomington Seeks To Lift Gambling Moratorium, Create Cannabis Plan: Carrillo got a lukewarm response from her colleagues to her request to establish a task force to examine how the city should foster a marijuana industry when its recreational use becomes legal next year. She noted the Town of Normal has already started its own discussion.

* In an informal 4-3 vote, the Highland Park City Council opted to take a “wait and see” approach to recreational cannabis businesses: Although the vote was informal, the opinion expressed by majority means it will be practically impossible for a business to open up in town on Jan. 1 when the first early approval licensees can begin selling recreational cannabis to adults in Illinois.

* Frankfort Prohibits Recreational Cannabis Businesses

* Park Ridge leaning toward ban on recreational marijuana sales

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Excited at the prospect of “cannabis lounges” at dispensaries, where customers can consume marijuana onsite. It’s really important for tourists to have a place to consume.


  2. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    My goodness, those poor people in Effingham. Not only do they have to deal with those loons that represent them on the county board and in the statehouse, but *that* is the intelligence level of their edit board members? My thoughts and prayers go out to them. #Effinghamstrong


  3. - Bothanspy - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Good to see Naperville reconsidering. Bolingbrook has declined to allow sale of cannabis so that would be a pretty wide swath of area not allowing sale.


  4. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Remember when the IML sent out Bruce Rauner’s turnaround agenda to local bodies? But now they can’t help their constituency with this?


  5. - Jocko - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==Did it just cease to be now that states are legalizing it?==

    Buenker couldn’t be bothered to check with the CDC website that reads, “The majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances”


  6. - Seenitall - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Effingham already has a dispensary, and the city hasn’t exactly fallen apart as a result. And I can assure him that the substance was available in Effingham Co. long before that place opened.

    If he’s really concerned about kids and general safety, maybe he should address the culture of road tripping so prevalent in Effingham Co. You do not want to be out on the country roads around there late night on a weekend where practically 100% of the drivers are seriously impaired.


  7. - @misterjayem - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    “The fact remains that marijuana in recent times was considered a ‘gateway’ drug. What happened to that theory?”

    It’s been debunked by study after study after study after…

    – MrJM


  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    With all due respect to your “google it” response, I’m not sure the Effingham County Board has internet access.


  9. - Johnny Tractor - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    Hey; let’s not be so hard on the Effingham County board. They can’t be expected to focus on real laws and their implementation when they’re battling Chicago and imaginary gun confiscators - priorities, people! /s


  10. - Rabid - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    South Beloit, put your pot shop on the state line next to Beloit’s fireworks


  11. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    Hey Wisconsin,
    Hate that many of your adult residents will go to Illinois to buy cannabis? Too bad. How about trying to grow up and get past Reefer Madness, and legalize it yourself? But don’t hurry. We’ll love your business in Illinois.


  12. - BR91 - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    Will Chicago’s own Cresco Labs rise from its slumber and shoot to $40 within two years?


  13. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    “Hey Wisconsin, Hate that many of your adult residents will go to Illinois to buy cannabis? ”

    Might make up for business/taxes Illinoisans send to WI for the much sought after Spotted Cow.


  14. - SOP - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    With so many delegations staying in Illinois, the State’s legalization will certainly make Milwaukee’s Democratic National Convention an even more bizarre spectacle.


  15. - Commissioner Fischer - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    Rich, Since this hasn’t hit the paper yet, you can add the City of Zion to the list. The Council approved the establishment of recreational cannabis businesses within the city this past Tuesday. The vote was 4 to 1 in favor. By the way, I’m a regular reader, first time posting.


  16. - NormalOne - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    I don’t understand why so many municipalities are choosing to shoot themselves in the foot on this. If someone intends to purchase cannabis products crossing over the city limits isn’t going to stop them. They will just go spend their money elsewhere.


  17. - F'n Dithering - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Thought that Effingham actually raised some good questions especially in light of your link to the google article on workplace issues that states:
    If the employer lacks the requisite good faith basis that the employee is impaired, the employer may be exposed to liability for actual damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and statutory penalties.

    In other words, how do you prove up that an employee’s use was during work and not while off-duty? Is there an dilated pupil-test or one-legged balancing test; do you ask them to say the alphabet backwards and walk in a straight line? There isn’t a breathalyzer or blood test (warrant); and a urinalysis would include THC from the last week or so…


  18. - Maryjane - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    - F’n Dithering:

    Doing several daily google news searches on the subject, I’ve noted a good many articles from employment law firms that have been covering the question in a pretty complete way. Basically, yes employers need to determine weather an employee is impaired on the job only, and medical use may require an accommodation. (imo ALWAYS be discreet regarding this or anything personal with one’s employer; it’ll make everyone’s workday easier.)

    I thought at first, the Effingham/Buenker piece was surely a spoof like something from The Onion.

    The Wisconsin item: If they are so worried about people driving, I would think they would sensibly suggest taking the train instead.


  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Aug 23, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    What I like about the Effingham Board is that while they often claim to know exactly how the state should be run, they seem incapable of doing an ounce of research to figure out how to address issues themselves. Much easier to play dumb and complain, which is a role the “leaders” of that county appear to have mastered.


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