Back in October of 2019, the Macomb City Council had approved the sale and purchase of adult-use, recreational/medical marijuana, and was open to allowing a marijuana lounge or dispensary to open up shop on a special permit. At the start of January 2021, there were rumors among the people of Macomb that a dispensary was to open up shop soon, somewhere in McDonough County. Those rumors were confirmed this February. Windy City Cannabis has now taken residency where Shooters was once located and is said to open their doors sometime in Spring 2021.
After talking with a group of Western Illinois University seniors, they unanimously agreed that allowing a dispensary to open up in Macomb will greatly benefit the community and be a new pivotal factor in more students wanting to attend here. One gentleman, a Law Enforcement major, wanted to remain anonymous, but stated, “I believe that allowing a dispensary to open up in Macomb will significantly benefit the community. During the council’s decision-making process, they stated that they would be able to collect up to 3.75 percent of sales tax on top of what would already come from local governments. I know that being in a college town, there will always be consistent buyers of both medical and recreational marijuana. I hope that with this new form of revenue, Macomb will continue to expand and put the money back into the community. Possibly, bringing more chain restaurants or variety into Macomb.” Amongst this group, there was also talk of how convenient having a dispensary here would be. The most current and closest dispensary to Macomb right now is located in Canton, Ill., which is about an hour outside of Macomb. A good chunk of the student population does not have a form of transportation that would allow them to make a trip to the RISE dispensary. Now that one is opening in Macomb, it would be more easily accessible.
Now, accessibility is only easy for those who are of age. Yes, it is now legal in Illinois, but to those who are 21+. With this dispensary to open soon, it is essential for those who are wanting to indulge in recreational/medical use to understand the rules that come along with it. Another WIU student, who also wanted to remain anonymous, commented,
“I do think that recreational use of marijuana creates a lot of grey areas, and if students and the people of Macomb aren’t fully aware of all the policies and regulations, issues will arise. Students will manage to bring certain products on campus that are prohibited, there’s the possibility that underage individuals will use those who are of age to purchase products from the dispensary, and that could lead to an increase in citations issued to an individual that could negatively impact one’s future or career if they don’t read over the policies and regulations for the county. That being said, I don’t think it’s a negative addition to Macomb by any means. I think it will greatly benefit the community and is helpful to all those who like to partake in those activities. I just think there will be an adjustment period, especially being centrally located with four different police agencies.”
For all those who are interested in learning more about Windy City Cannabis, and what Illinois’s regulations are. They have a website that lists all their safety precautions due to COVID-19, an Illinois Cannabis FAQ, and a menu of what products they will soon have. For those interested in learning more information about the cannabis regulations within Illinois, check out IlliniosPolicy.org, or IDFPR.com.