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Local News

Yorkville aldermen approve updated cannabis possession fines ordinance

UPDATED 12 P.M. FRIDAY, DEC. 13:

YORKVILLE – Less than three weeks before adult use marijuana becomes legal in Illinois, Yorkville city officials cleaned up an ordinance related to possession of the drug, paraphernalia and fines.

The Yorkville City Council voted, 7-0, to approve clean-up ordinances within city code related to unlawful use of cannabis during their Tuesday, Dec. 10 meeting. Ward 4 Alderman Seaver Tarulis was absent from the meeting.

Yorkville city attorney Kathleen Field Orr said some of those changes include deleting a section in city code that decriminalized marijuana possession for amounts up to 10 grams, which was approved in 2016. She said the revisions also reference new cannabis-related restrictions approved by City Council during their Nov. 26 meeting.

"So it's a clean-up," Field Orr said.

Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson wrote in a Dec. 4 memo that, in short, anyone caught with more marijuana than the amount legally authorized by the state could be cited by the city. According to state law, adults 21 years old and older may possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, 5 grams of marijuana concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC contained in a marijuana-infused product starting Jan. 1, 2020.

Olson wrote in the memo those who violate those new city laws could be fined in amounts between $100 and $300 for the first offense, between $200 and $600 for the second offense and between $300 and $750 for each offense after that.

Field Orr said the fines were recommended by Yorkville Police Chief Jim Jensen. Also regarding cannabis regulations in general, she said, it will be illegal for motorists to transport sealed containers of adult-use cannabis that have been opened.

Olson also wrote that other changes would include further clarification of what drug paraphernalia possession would be allowed within the city. For example, he wrote, a minor possessing marijuana paraphernalia would be violating city ordinance under the proposed changes.

The update comes after Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed a follow-up bill further tightening the initial state law legalizing adult use marijuana.

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