DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith called any hopes to have a dispensary in DeKalb by Jan. 1 2020 “wishful thinking,” due to the lengthy process of state licensing.
This comes in light of J.B. Pritzker signing HB 1438 in June, which will allow municipalities to regulate and tax cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, according to the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
Smith said though the City Council initially had a “wait and see attitude,” he could tell Council members were open to the idea of recreational marijuana being sold in DeKalb.
“A number of communities in the state have opted out; we have that option as a municipality,” Smith said. “We will probably not do that. It was clear to me early on in the process that our City Council was going to be very supportive of recreational marijuana.”
The Council discussed the legalization of recreational marijuana at a public hearing and a committee of the whole, Smith said.
Out of the six types of marijuana establishments, the City Council has favored dispensaries as a viable option, Smith said.
The revenue from dispensaries could have a significant impact on the DeKalb economy, Smith said.
“I will say that given the City of DeKalb’s fiscal condition now, much like many municipalities across the state, I think one of the overriding considerations as it relates to our City Council taking a look at this favorably is the potential revenue,” Smith said.
First Ward Alderperson Carolyn Morris said she’s very optimistic about legalization.
Though she said she was surprised to see Gov. J.B. Pritzker win this year’s election, she said she’s happy to see that he’s following through on a lot of his plans, including the signing of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act,