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Sycamore City Council to hold public hearing on recreational marijuana

SYCAMORE – The ­Sycamore City Council will hear from the public Monday as it weighs whether or not to allow for the sale of recreational marijuana in city limits.

Before the regular meeting of the council, it will hold a public hearing for residents to speak at.

Beginning Jan. 1, the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes will be legal in Illinois. Municipalities across the state, however, have the power to regulate if it is sold in their communities and, if so, how it will be regulated. They cannot restrict its use.

The public hearing Monday is to provide more information and “begin a community discussion regarding the new recreational marijuana laws, the City’s options and potential implications,” according to city documents.

At the Sept. 16 city council meeting, council members said they might be to be open to the idea of allowing recreational pot sales in town, pointing to how the city successfully had regulated video gambling and alcohol sales in the community beforehand.

First Ward Alderman Alan Bauer said at that meeting he voted against many of those measures in town.

“What I’ve seen over those votes is we’ve properly regulated those things,” Bauer said. “Even though I was pretty pessimistic, it turned out OK. I guess I’m OK with this.”

Should the city pass an ordinance in favor of marijuana sales in town – and the city does allow medical marijuana dispensaries already, although no recreational dispensaries – it will next have to decide where it would be allowed and under what regulations. For example, according to city documents, the city will have to decide if people will be able to use marijuana in the business where they purchase it.

Other topics that the city will have to discuss will be how to expunge criminal records now eligible with the passage of the state’s recreational marijuana law, what rate the city will tax the sales up to the 3% maximum allowed and what sort of licensing requirements it will need.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore City Center located at 308 W. State St.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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