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Morton Leaders Believe Cannabis Business Ban Reflects Community's Preference, Village Attorney Says

The Morton Village Board Meeting on July 1, 2019
Morton, IL Village Government via YouTube
The Morton Village Board Meeting on July 1, 2019

Morton’s Village Board voted unanimously last night to ban cannabis businesses from starting up within village limits. 

The recreational cannabis law recently signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives local municipalities a wide amount of leeway on regulation of cannabis businesses. The Morton ordinance bans cannabis cultivation centers, dispensaries, processors, transportation companies or craft growing within the village. 

Village Attorney Pat McGrath said Village Mayor Jeff Kaufman requested he draft the ordinance. He said he believes the unanimous vote reflects that the village trustees believe the ordinance reflects the preferences of the electorate. 

“It was brought to the board, and I believe the board’s vote reflected that the six trustees thought similarly to the mayor in terms of what the community’s sensibilities were on this issue," McGrath said. 

The law allowing up to 30 grams of cannabis flower by people age 21 and over goes into effect on January 1. The Morton ordinance does not affect possession of cannabis or sale of CBD oil.

At Monday's meeting, McGrath said a second ordinance would address issues such as public consumption of cannabis and underage possession. 

Other area communities have taken a different stance on cannabis. Delavan is currently home to a medical cannabis cultivation center that plans to expand into recreational growing with the new law. Both Peoria and East Peoria host medical cannabis dispensaries. 

Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.