Bloomington says yes to marijuana but places cap on number of dispensaries

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — In a heated and emotional, back and forth discussion, the Bloomington City Council opted-in to recreational marijuana within city limits. Then proceeded to create all the rules and regulations surrounding the drug on Monday.

Next year the city of Bloomington will be allowed to have two cannabis dispensaries, but those will be the only marijuana businesses allowed. Council members said no to allowing processing and cultivation centers to come into town.

Leaders also rejected on-site consumption, a topic that many in attendance seemed to have their sites set on.

“On-site consumption is something that truly makes cannabis legal,” said Radiance Campbell. “For people who are renting, people who live in public housing, their landlords can tell them that they cannot consume cannabis on their property.”

Council members, Scott Black, Jamie Mathy, and Donna Boelen didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the topic in the future for a possible yes vote. However, they said they need more information before voting on something that “impactful.” 

Many in attendance were in disagreement with the council’s decision to allow marijuana in town in general, despite the elected officials attempt to comprise.

“Give it more time,” said Martin. “A couple of the reactions were how fast can I get my house on the market. You’re going to get people leaving and go to other places.”

The Council also stated you would only be allowed to carry 30 grams, or just over one ounce of raw cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate and 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products, otherwise known as edibles.

Under the same ordinance, you cannot possess cannabis if you are under the age of 21, sell it to someone who is under 21, have it on school grounds or smoke and/or consume it in a public place.

Normal City Council also approved an ordinance amending the municipal code regarding prohibited possession and use of cannabis. They also approved its community investment plan.

The community investment plan includes about $94.6 million in spending over five years spread among things like roadwork, water and sewers, and public buildings.

Director of Finance for the town of Normal Andrew Huhn said the town’s goal is to keep the community in good shape.

“Road work, sewer work, water work, the parks and rec, all these things all have kinda a constant need for maintenance and repair and the town dedicates as much money as it can to keep things at a high quality,” Huhn said.

You can take a look at the community investment plan at the Town of Normal’s website.

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