KANKAKEE — The Kankakee County Board’s executive committee discussed at length a resolution from last year that prohibits the establishment of marijuana dispensaries within unincorporated areas of the county.
The executive committee was deadlocked by a vote of 7-7 on recommending the full board revisit the issue as an ordinance to rescind the resolution at Tuesday’s meeting in the county administration building.
“So it’s a tie. The chair rules that it go forward with the recommendation to approve,” board chairman Andy Wheeler said. “So that’s the way it will go forward, and we’ll see it on the agenda.”
The ordinance would’ve moved to the full county board regardless of the executive committee’s recommendation. The board will vote on it at its next meeting on May 11.
Board member Kenneth Smith had asked the board to revisit the issue at the April meeting because he felt the county was missing out on sales tax revenue from pot sales.
The county has the potential to reap $650,000 in annual revenue from the sale of marijuana in the county. The local tax would be 3.75%.
“That would be counting money here,” Wheeler said. “… That doesn’t mean here is a [dispensary]. We’re not talking to anybody. It would just be basically putting a fish hook and line in the water so to speak.”
Board member Roger Hess said he opposes the ordinance for cannabis dispensaries.
“I voted against this before, and I’ll vote against it again,” Hess said. “If you’ve never had a family member who started out with cannabis and ended up on hard drugs and shot himself in the head, you will not understand what cannabis does to the young people. I’m just telling you that by fact it’s not good. You can ask the coroner, you can ask the sheriff. This is a starting drug for anything