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Normal Town Council Could Consider Marijuana Ordinance In September

Pam Reece
Emma Shores
Normal City Manager Pam Reece spoke to WGLT's Charlie Schlenker on Sound Ideas on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

Cities and towns across the state are studying how to get ready for the new year and legal cannabis. The Town of Normal might be one of the earlier adopters of regulation covering use and sale of recreational marijuana.

An ordinance regulating marijuana sales in Normal could go to the town council in a little more than a month. Staff are already working on it.

"We have received some information from the Illinois Municipal League who has prepared some model ordinances. They have gathered information and they are a great resource for us," said Reece.

Staff are not quite ready to get input from elected leaders, but that is next.

"We are going to have some dialogue with our elected officials and city council members soon to talk about what is of interest to them. At this point, I can envision an ordinance will include more zoning type of information," said Reece.

A marijuana sales ordinance could be similar to policies covering alcohol and where it can be sold.

"Where should that be located? My guess is right now the intention is more along the lines of regulation comparable to alcohol sales limiting the distance from a school and churches and such," said Reece.

There are restrictions on tobacco smoking near buildings. But, for those who want to light up and smoke marijuana, Reece says the rules might be even more limiting. See again regulation on consumption of alcohol.

"We would limit it in public places," said Reece.

There is a medical marijuana dispensary on the edge of Normal. Reece said she doubts new regulation on recreational sales would displace that facility.

Some municipalities such as Morton have decided they want no marijuana sales at all inside city or village limits. But the mayors of both Bloomington and Normal say they are on record opposing a ban.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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