Wheaton votes to prohibit recreational marijuana sales


Wheaton has joined a expanding a list of DuPage County towns that are banning the sale of recreational marijuana in their communities.

The Wheaton City Council on Monday evening unanimously authorized a text amendment prohibiting “cannabis organization establishments” as defined by Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, such as cultivation centers, craft growers and dispensing organizations.

Councilwoman Erica Bray-Parker stated ahead of the vote that there are “several unknowns” about how communities will be impacted by the state law, which will make recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults legal across Illinois starting Jan. 1.

“Wheaton residents are just not prepared to be an early adopter, like some of our neighbors, in the sales aspect of this law,” Bray-Parker stated.

Monday’s vote came six weeks soon after Wheaton held a public hearing, exactly where council members heard from residents for and against permitting pot shops. At the time, some council members stated they wanted to take a wait-and-see method, indicating they could revisit public well being and security inquiries after the industry establishes itself in towns that let dispensaries.

Municipalities in Illinois can location neighborhood sales taxes of up to three% on recreational marijuana sales.

But Councilman Christopher Zaruba stated on Monday that Wheaton at the moment does not require the more tax income that recreational marijuana dispensaries would bring.

“The sale of cannabis is not going to make or break the spending budget,” he stated.

So Wheaton can afford to opt out now and “critique and observe” what occurs in surrounding municipalities. Zaruba stated the city nevertheless has the capacity to opt in sometime in the future.

Moving forward, Bray-Parker stated city employees ought to monitor each the tax income portion and the enforcement portion of the state law.

She stated the council ought to revisit the challenge in a year soon after officials have collected at least six months of “much more concrete information.”

Health-related marijuana dispensaries have been permitted beneath city zoning guidelines considering the fact that 2013, but there are not any in town, officials stated.

The state is anticipated to challenge up to 47 retail dispensary licenses in the Chicago region ahead of Could 1. Current health-related cannabis dispensaries can apply for early approval licenses to either sell recreational marijuana on internet site or at a unique place.


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