PLANO – Discussions with Plano city officials about recreational marijuana are set to begin during the next City Council meeting.
Plano Mayor Bob Hausler said there have been some preliminary discussions within the city's building, grounds and zoning committee and aldermen have been provided with information to mull over from the Illinois Municipal League. He said aldermen will be advised to keep doing their research during the next committee of the whole meeting Monday, Aug. 26, and the city plans to have the first full discussion regarding the drafting of the city's ordinance during the Sept. 9 committee of the whole meeting, with the goal to have an ordinance for the City Council to vote on by the end of next month.
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.
"But one thing that we are pretty confident in is it’ll happen, whether we’ll allow the sales or not, and I feel that at least we would then have a revenue source to help pay for any actions that we would need to take," Hausler said.
Hausler's comments come after Kendall County officials started talking about what recreational marijuana could look like from a zoning standpoint and whether the county would opt in or opt out of allowing related sales in unincorporated areas of the county. That follows Illinois becoming the 11th state in the country to allow recreational marijuana, when Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law in June.
Illinois adults ages 21 and older will be able to carry 30 grams, or slightly more than an ounce, of cannabis flower; up to a half-gram of THC – the chemical compound that gets users high – within cannabis-infused products, such as edibles; and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, such as hash oil. For visitors from outside the state, those possession amounts are cut in half.
The state law goes into effect Jan. 1.
Hausler's comments also come as Yorkville Mayor John Purcell said he is anticipating the beginning of city discussions about recreational marijuana to begin during the next Yorkville City Council meeting and Oswego Village President Troy Parlier said public discussions are expected to begin during a Sept. 3 committee of the whole meeting.
Hausler said there is no set deadline for the city to pass an ordinance to opt in or out of recreational marijuana sales according to state law. He said the Illinois Department of Revenue has recommended municipalities to pass something by Oct. 1 because businesses looking for licenses from the state need to have sites finalized upon applying for those licenses.
“This is not that imminent anyway, because we haven’t been approached” by medical or recreational marijuana businesses to set up shop in the city yet, Hausler said.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at City Hall, 17 E. Main St.