Quincy’s City Council is debating joining the state of Illinois cannabis program, allowing dispensaries to set up in city limits.
Recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state on Jan. 1, but cities have to decide if they want to allow dispensaries to sell the drug in their towns.
So far, Quincy is on the path to joining other cities who have already supported sales. Last week zoning ordinances were changed to allow marijuana sales, if they are approved by the council.
The zoning ordinances would allow dispensaries to open in downtown and commercial districts, with certain restrictions. For example, there must be a buffer zone between marijuana establishments and public parks, playgrounds and schools. Also, marijuana establishments must get permission to operate before opening.
Opponents to the legislation worried about the impact on the community and said it could lead to more youth using marijuana. At least one business has expressed interest in opening in Quincy; representatives spoke in favor of the new laws.
The state’s program would allow a tax of up to 3 percent on all marijuana sales. The council must read and vote on the changes two more times before commercial sales would be possible.