SOUTH SUBURBAN VILLAGE HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS CANNABIS LEGALIZATION
10/9/2019, noon | Updated on 10/9/2019, noon
South Suburban Village Holds Special Meeting To Discuss Cannabis Legalization
BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
The Village of Dolton in the south suburbs of Chicago recently hosted a Special Meeting to allow the Board of Trustees and community residents to have an open discussion about marijuana legalization in the State of Illinois and how they would like to see that take effect in the Village of Dolton.
The Village is working to draft a new ordinance that would set guidelines for the sale and recreational use of marijuana products in the community. During the meeting, the Village Attorney stated that he did not believe the legislation would be ready to come for a vote until late October.
“We are in the preliminary stages right now and at this point, it is just a discussion. There has not been a decision made as to who is going to be here. We will present that information to the board and cut it down to what we think will be a good deal and we will share that with the community. At this point, we are just talking,” said Rogers.
During the meeting, the members of the Board of Trustees were able to ask the Village Attorney any questions they had regarding the legislation which included questions about the legal consumption, possession, and sale of marijuana. The trustees also shared their opinions of the types of business owners they would like to see represented in the Village of Dolton’s marijuana industry.
“I would like to look at some people that are just getting started instead of those who have already been in this. Instead of them gaining income, I would like to see somebody who is just starting and just beginning to grow be able to enhance the quality of their business,” said Andrew Holmes, Village of Dolton Trustee.
The Mayor of Dolton, Riley Rogers, agreed with Trustee Holmes in saying that he wanted to make the industry accessible to emerging entrepreneurs but also noted that established business owners are already prepared to move in on Jan. 1 when the legislation takes effect.
“I have met with several different companies that are interested in opening a dispensary or a cultivation center and we’ve identified some property here in the Village of Dolton that would work for cultivation and also retail,” said Mayor Rogers. “Right off the bat, the industry is limited to the people that are already in the medical marijuana business and that’s for the first six months. If we wait six months to try and bring anybody in because we are saying that we only want new business owners, we will already be months behind and then there may not be an opportunity left for us.”
During the meeting, the Village Attorney, Mayor Rogers, and the Trustees went over what the new legislation would allow for when it comes to marijuana consumption and at the end of the meeting, there was time for public comment. Some concerns raised by residents were the possibility of public marijuana consumption, an increase in crime, and access to business ownership for residents.