Colchester discusses marijuana ordinance

Michael Harms, Courier Staff

Now that recreational marijuana has been legalized in the state of Illinois, cities everywhere are trying to figure out how to deal with the new law. The city of Colchester discussed possible ways to set up an ordinance to put limits on the distribution, use and image management of marijuana.

The City Council sat down and talked with attorney Mariah Wallace of Capps, Ancelet, Icenogle and Wallace about what the newly passed law means for the city. The council went over things that they can and cannot control within city limits from what types of businesses can sell it, to how much to charge a business to obtain a license to sell the product.

Members of City Council seemed to be in favor of generating money from recreational marijuana sales but are still dealing with bringing in alcohol sales. Colchester has been a “dry” town for many decades and will be a voting topic for the public later this year.

If residents vote to allow alcohol sales within Colchester, the City Council would then discuss possible ordinances the city would create in order to allow businesses to sell alcohol. Voters should have a chance to vote in November on the issue. Now with the recreational marijuana use legalized, the town discussed this topic being put onto the ballot.

This left many City Council members thinking they should table the ordinance discussion on marijuana until they have the results of the alcohol sales vote in November. However, the council did decide to have the police committee look into and review the possible community impact the new law has. They expect those results to be in later next week and the council will then discuss how the new ordinance will look.