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Pekin Council Approves Cannabis Business Applications

Pekin Municipal Building
Tim Shelley / WCBU
Pekin Municipal Building

The Pekin City Council cleared the way for PAL Health Technologies to kickstart a recreational cannabis dispensary and craft growing operation on the city's industrial southern edge. The medical prosthetic manufacturer wants to sell adult-use marijuana out of its existing building. It would build the growing operation in an adjoining lot.

Pekin Building Inspector and Development Director John Lebegue said business owner Dr. Aaron Rossi's thoroughness easily swayed the planning commission.

"They were very satisfied with the presentation as well as the completeness of the application. Every aspect was covered by the applicant," said Lebegue.

With 180 parking spaces already on site, Lebegue said they have more than enough real estate to meet potential parking needs.

The council voted to approve altering its zoning codes to allow the operation at 1805 Riverside Drive and to give its blessing to a craft growing operation and dispensary at the location. Only councilman Michael Garrison chose to abstain.

"The state of Illinois cannot supercede criminal law, and the whole enterprise is criminal, as far as I'm concerned. I'm not against pot. I'm not. But I will not sanction any illegal act by the state of Illinois," he said.

The approval clears the way for Rossi to apply for a state craft growing license later this month, but a dispensary couldn't receive approval until December 2021 at the earliest.

Rossi said he would create 10 full-time jobs to start, but that could become as many as 25 if the state approves the license applications.

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Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

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