Plainfield says no to dispensaries
Madhu Mayeremail@example.com | 10/8/2019, 10:30 p.m.
The Village of Plainfield will not be getting into the soon-to-be legalized cannabis business. The Plainfield Village Board Monday by a vote of 5-1 adopted a resolution stating it will not allow dispensaries selling marijuana products to open in the community. On June 25, Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (Illinois House Bill 1438). Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the law legalizes the possession, use and purchase of recreational marijuana for individuals 21 and older in Illinois. The law also establishes guidelines for the regulation and licensing of cannabis businesses such as dispensaries and cultivation centers. Furthermore, the law decriminalizes certain prior marijuana-related convictions and places a burden on law enforcement related to the expungement and record keeping/updating for past minor offenses, according to Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek.
Trustee Cally Larson said the village is sending a message through the resolution. "I can't move past the enforcement," she said. "I don't think Plainfield should be a test market." Unlike alcohol, Larson said there is no field sobriety test if a police officer suspects a driver is under the influence of marijuana. The only option is a blood draw, which is time consuming as the driver must be taken to a hospital.
Trustee Harry Benton, who was the only village board member to vote against the resolution, said Plainfield should not dismiss the potential for sales revenue. "I don't want to give up tax dollars," said Benton. "People are going to be using cannabis products in our town. It is going to be in our backyard and we should opt in."
While the law authorizes the possession of a limited quantity of cannabis-containing products, local municipalities can set limits or opt out on aspects such as the purchase, production or distribution of legalized recreational cannabis products. Local communities can also regulate the time, place, manner and number of cannabis businesses, including the minimum separation requirements between locations through the special use process, according to Jonathan Proulx, director of planning for the Village of Plainfield.