News Local/State

East-Central Illinois Towns Consider Next Steps For Recreational Cannabis

cannabis in Illinois

Kurt Bielema/Illinois Public Media

Cities and municipalities across east-central Illinois are taking steps to determine whether to allow the sale of recreational cannabis once it becomes legal in Illinois on January 1.

The Urbana City Council is considering a 3% local sales tax on recreational cannabis, the same rate as the city’s tax on package liquor. The cannabis tax is on the agenda for tonight’s Committee of the Whole meeting, and a final vote could be taken on September 3rd.

The Monticello City Council will discuss recreational cannabis tonight, but with no specific proposal slated. Council members discussed a possible moratorium on allowing cannabis sales at their last meeting, according to the Piatt County Journal-Republican.

In Savoy, Zoning Administrator Dan Davies said the Board of Trustees wants residents to share their thoughts on the matter, since public input will help Village officials determine next steps.

“We’ll start the discussions on if people are pro or con: if they want us to regulate the sale and distribution of marijuana in Savoy, or if they want to prohibit it,” Davies said.

He said other issues to consider include how cannabis sales will be taxed and regulated and whether there will be limits on where it can be sold. 

“We’re still getting our head wrapped around all this,” Davies said. “Do we treat it like a liquor license? Do we treat it like, anything else where you want to keep it so many feet away from a school, from a park, a residential area, do we only want to allow it in a certain district? Do we want to regulate the number of dispensaries we can have in the Village?”

The Savoy Planning Commission will hold two public meetings on the matter: tonight and again on September 11. Both meetings will take place at 7 p.m. at the Robert McCleary Municipal Center on Dunlap Ave. in Savoy.