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Reefer sanity starting to prevail

Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019

* Edwardsville

In a split vote, 3-3, the city council failed to pass an ordinance Tuesday to prohibit the sale of recreational cannabis within city limits. […]

The city’s next steps will be to amend the city’s tax code to permit these sales and start working on zoning regulations to define where within city limits such shops will be allowed.

City Administrator Kevin Head said at least one recreational cannabis seller has contacted the city about setting up shop as an expansion of its current medicinal marijuana store. The nearest medical marijuana dispensaries to Edwardsville are in Sauget, Collinsville and Litchfield. There is also one in Effingham.

“Alcohol and tobacco kill far more than marijuana does and probably everyone in this room knows someone who has done or is using marijuana and we’re all still functioning adults,” Alderman Will Krause, one of the measure’s biggest proponents said last month during a committee meeting.

* Woodstock

The Woodstock City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday establishing a 3% tax on the gross sales receipts of recreational marijuana retailers. […]

Council voted, 5-1, in favor of the proposal, with council member Darrin Flynn voting against it.

Flynn, who asked that the item be removed from the consent agenda for separate consideration, said that setting the tax at the cap may discourage new businesses from coming to Woodstock, especially if neighboring municipalities set lower taxes.

“It’s a new industry, and it’s a new business, and we have to show that we are open for business,” Flynn said.

Flynn could turn out to be right. We’ll see. Price may not turn out to be as important as product quality and diversity and the shopping experience.

* St. Charles

The government operations committee voted 5-3 Monday to implement a 3% municipal cannabis retailers’ occupation tax starting next year. That would tack onto an existing 2% local sales tax, meaning St. Charles would collect 5% of gross recreational marijuana sales, pending city council approval. […]

Under the current law, the city can implement a local tax of up to 3% beginning Sept. 1, 2020, Finance Director Chris Minick said.

But the Illinois Municipal League has requested a legislative amendment that would move up that date to coincide with the legalization of possession and sales.

They should probably leave the law right where it is. Let these things get started before the taxation kicks in.

* Urbana

Anyone who buys cannabis for recreational purposes in Urbana when it becomes legal Jan. 1 can add another 3 percent tax to the total bill.

On Tuesday, aldermen unanimously approved implementing a Municipal Cannabis Retailer’s Occupation Tax, which could help the city address its pressing structural deficit.

But the Urbana City Council wanted to be clear that Tuesday’s vote was only about a tax and not other issues concerning public consumption, future dispensaries and other local regulations. […]

Mayor Diane Marlin added that a number of issues including zoning of future dispensaries; social consumption, such as in bars or other establishments; and criminal-record expungements and the associated workload and financial implications will “all be addressed in the coming months.”

* And then there’s Naperville

Naperville City Council members voted late Tuesday night to prohibit sales of recreational marijuana, but also expressed support for a plan to let voters revisit the topic with a future ballot question.

Council members voted 6-3 to ban all types of recreational marijuana businesses and to ask staff members to develop the language of a referendum question, which they can consider putting on a later ballot. […]

3C Compassionate Care Center, a medical marijuana dispensary on Quincy Avenue, will be allowed to continue its medical operation, but is not permitted to sell the drug for recreational use at its Naperville shop or any other site in town.

The business recently was granted one of the first recreational dispensary licenses from the state, but state regulations say businesses must follow all municipal zoning rules and other local laws.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Steve - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    Some communities might want marijuana . Some don’t. Let a thousand plants bloom if they want.

  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    The state should re-criminalize pot, but only for Naperville residents.

  3. - SammyG - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    I’m okay with Naperville banning it - it will provide a clear contrast to cities who legalize.

  4. - Dupage Bard - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Erin Hagerty was tweeting during the Naperville board meeting last night, for folks to follow along. What the anti marijuana folks kept hitting on is they don’t want marijuana in Naperville. If we sell it, everyone, including children, are going to do it. What message do we send if we open this? People will think we are pro marijuana and not pro family.

    What they seem to not understand is that it will be legal in their town whether it’s sold there or not. Their neighbors can do it, their little league coach can do it, their stay at home will do it. This doesn’t stop anything but revenue to the city. Congrats.

  5. - Unpopular - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    It’s amazing how disheveled things are around here when a community opts out. It’s an option under the law. Get over it.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    “Alcohol and tobacco kill far more than marijuana does and probably everyone in this room knows someone who has done or is using marijuana and we’re all still functioning adults”

    Beautifully said. Now towns and the state gain nothing, and marijuana use is and has been widespread. With legalization we will gain revenue, economic benefit, etc.

    Naperville gonna Naperville. Nearby towns and dispensaries should be happy to get Naperville business.

  7. - Glum - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    It’s great to see cities approving zoning and taxation but that won’t help with the January 1 legalization date if all of the cities with current dispensaries opt out of adult use. The bill set up a limited number of locations for January 1 and now those locations can’t move If the locals opt out. How many will be open on January 1? Doesn’t sound like many.

  8. - DoingHumanThings - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    Looks like Macomb is going to allow it, but go with a 3% tax on it:

    With a former ISP trooper as mayor and as red as west-central Illinois is, I’m kinda surprised they’re not going to ban it outright, but around here, we’re kinda desperate for tax $.

  9. - A guy - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    I’m guessing in most places where they pass the zoning, the 3% tax is the leverage to get it over the top. The train is moving in the direction of acceptance. Not speeding, but moving.

  10. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    I’m completely hypothesizing here, but a “big” city like Naperville opting out is very different than a random, small town opting out. If a small town opts out, no big deal, the consumers in that town will get from a neighboring town that allows sales. If a “big” city like Naperville opts out, which probably has a young adult population living in the downtown, some tourism, and out-of-towners in for business, weddings, etc. — those are the type of people that more than likely will make use of a black market or weed delivery service. The person in for a wedding may not take a 30 minute Uber ride out to another dispensary, but they will pay an extra $20 to the hotel bellhop that hooks them up.

  11. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Naperville - are Harry Anslinger and Sgt. Joe Friday honorary residents?

  12. - Jocko - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    ==Council members voted 6-3 to ban all types of recreational marijuana businesses==

    Abstainers gonna abstain.

  13. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    Opting out is the answer to this dilemma…ask any local pot dealer.

  14. - A Jack - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    I used to stay in Naperville when I visited that area. But there are plenty of options nearby with hotels, grocery stores, restaurants and potentially Marijuana dispensaries.

  15. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    With Naperville, Aurora is but a short drive away. The hypercriticism over opting out by many here remains curious, as the legislature has allowed local municipalities to opt out if they so desire. The referendum proposals may ultimately decide these issues in the near future.

  16. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    === The hypercriticism over opting out by many here remains curious, as the legislature has allowed local municipalities to opt out if they so desire. ===

    The ability to opt-out was likely necessary to somewhat pacify opponents and those on the bubble — and it’s not the end of the world if a municipality opts-out, it’s just naive and short-sighted.

  17. - Glum - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 11:21 am:

    == The hypercriticism over opting out by many here remains curious, as the legislature has allowed local municipalities to opt out if they so desire. ==

    My concern is where will it be available on January 1.

    I doubt any shops will be selling in Chicago since it hasn’t started the zoning process. Many of the suburbs with dispensaries are talking about opting out. New dispensaries aren’t opening right now.

  18. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 11:33 am:

    “Sgt. Joe Friday”

    Lol, “marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb” and “if marijuana possesses only half the potential of alcohol, for violence, criminality, accidents and degradation…do we need pot?”

  19. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    =It’s amazing how disheveled things are around here when a community opts out. It’s an option under the law. Get over it.=

    So you are against pot and free speech.

    Duly noted.

  20. - Diverdown - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    I watched quite a bit of the Naperville council meeting, although I have no skin in the game as I am in an unincorporated area. Although I am for opting-in, I liked the idea that they are probably going to put it to the voters in March, 2020 (if I am not mistaken, all 9 members were for the referendum and they have more than enough time to put it on the ballot in March). There are a lot of people on both sides of the issue…let the voters decide. Isn’t that what democracy is about or am I missing something?

  21. - H-W - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    Politics being what they are, the real question is not “who is opting in / out now, but “who will not have legal dispensaries five years from now?” My guess is that in a few years, this will all be a mute point.

  22. - H-W - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    moot, not mute (although both probably apply)

  23. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    If communities want to give up the revenues associated with recreational marijuana then that’s their perrogative. If they think that’s going to prevent their citizens from partaking they are naive. The train on marijuana left the station in Illinois. I would suggest they get on board.

  24. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    =let the voters decide. Isn’t that what democracy is about or am I missing something?=

    I don’t think you are missing anything, my thought is that the voters elected the Council to do this business for them though. Maybe the Council’s decision is reflective of the community that elected them and maybe not. If they defer on important decisions then maybe someone else needs to serve on the council.

  25. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    ==let the voters decide. Isn’t that what democracy is about==

    They already did. Through their elected representatives. That’s how our democracy works.

  26. - jimbo - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==They already did.==

    I’d argue they didn’t. The first meeting was held without most of the community even aware. Patty Gustin sent an email to her followers to show up, and then after they signed up, mysteriously the “system crashed”.

    The second meeting was held AFTER midnight and ran until 2:30am.

    The last meeting was held on Tues 9/3 when fully half of the city population was still on vacation as 204 didn’t have school until the following day.

    We had years of meetings on electric meters, years of meetings on 5th ave, and a full year of meetings about an old library. This one sure seemed to try to get swept thru awfully quick.

  27. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    On a tangent, Jeanne Ives (pushing opt out) was at the Naperville labor day parade and seems to be undergoing a rebrand. Most of the signs in her group left out her last name, and I only saw one that had it in a font 1/5 the rest of the letters.

  28. - Stark - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Naperville straight up wrecking the vibe.

  29. - BigDoggie - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    As a non pot enthusiast and Naperville resident, I see this as pretty shortsighted and agree with what DuPage Bard said. They’re just bypassing tax revenue. The approved retail location is already a medical outlet, so they would just be expanding the business in the same (non-residential) location. Makes no sense to me.

    The local papers have shown a couple photos of the Opt Out rally last weekend and their people at a meeting. Is this a cultural thing perhaps? The crowd in the photos very much skewed heavily to a particular race…

  30. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Don’t discount the problem with trusting a government that has been telling us for 40 years marijuana is bad for you and a gateway drug suddenly saying that was all BS, its fine, no worse than drinking a beer.

  31. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    the Patriot:

    Governments have told us lots of things were bad over the years and then changed their mind. Times change. Adaptation is necessary sometimes.

  32. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Public testimony at meetings is almost always gonna be skewed toward prohibition. Many proponents, even if they don’t consume marijuana themselves, are gonna be hesitant to go on the public records advocating for marijuana — especially if they are not self-employed.

  33. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Grandson of Man -
    Sgt. Joe Friday - smoked cigarettes like a chimney (3 packs a day), drank like a fish (Crown Royal), ate chili cheese dogs, dropped dead of a heart attack at age 62. Thank goodness he never harmed his health with cannabis!

  34. - XonXoff - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    Reminds me of dry counties in the South.

  35. - bo - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 3:53 pm:

    BigDoggie ==The crowd in the photos very much skewed heavily to a particular race==

    Opt out flyers all say they are “Sponsored by Asian American Advocacy (AAA) and Asian American GOP Coalition (AAGC)”

    Whoever they are they spent a fair amount of money with tshirts, hats, and 8.5 x 11 flyers printed in 4 colors on glossy paper. They handed out thousands at the parade, and they are posted all over town.

  36. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    “Don’t discount the problem with trusting a government that has been telling us for 40 years marijuana is bad for you and a gateway drug suddenly saying that was all BS, its fine, no worse than drinking a beer.”

    The science has been clear for decades.

    – MrJM

  37. - Maryjane - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    - bo & BigDoggie:

    Whoa… Back in California when this discussion was going on, it was the same crowd being bussed from town (opt-out) meeting to meeting, pulling the same stuff. I can’t recall the name, but same schtick. Honestly, s.s.d.d.

    Imo, this is another reason we require a PAC. We need our own people to represent us; they have theirs and evidently, they, are nationwide. Time to fight back.

  38. - Tim - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 4:52 pm:

    Good for Naperville. I hope more cities opt out.

  39. - Johnnie F. - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 4:57 pm:

    Wonder if the current medical clinic would be able to move to a more business friendly location. They are going to lose out on their specific ability to sell recreational at their existing location. That’s a loss of jobs and profits when the law was written with specific benefits for the existing medical sales locations. Typical Naperville pearl-clutching. Drag over the fainting couch and ready the smelling salts…except in Naperville smelling salts are considered a gateway to glue-sniffing.

  40. - Glum - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 5:15 pm:

    ==Wonder if the current medical clinic would be able to move to a more business friendly location. They are going to lose out on their specific ability to sell recreational at their existing location. ==

    Rich posted the other day the locations were told they cannot move.

  41. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 5:35 pm:

    - marijuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb -

    He was right about one thing, LSD is the bomb…

  42. - Enviro - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 6:00 pm:

    Allowing the sale of medical marijuana in a community is much different than allowing the sale for recreational purposes.

    Decriminalizing marijuana was probably the right thing to do, but it is not the same as approving of the sale of recreational marijuana in our neighborhoods.

    The people of Naperville have the right to opt out.

  43. - Buddha from Berwyn - Wednesday, Sep 4, 19 @ 10:28 pm:

    This is why I choose to live in Cook County. We’ll take the tax revenue. Thanks for the money. Don’t go changing.

  44. - Jim - Thursday, Sep 5, 19 @ 7:42 am:

    Thanks to the 6 votes in Naperville to Opt Out. With recreational mj, the black market does not dry up—it thrives because its mj is cheaper–just research what law enforcement in CO has found. Naperville does not need the limited amount of tax revenue that would come from mj sales at the expense of expanding the availability of mj to its young people.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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