The Peoria City Council last night took a partial step toward the legal sale of recreational cannabis.
The council approved a first reading on a three percent tax on adult-use marijuana, even though it has yet to approve the sale of cannabis within the city.
State law required the council to act by month’s end in order to collect the tax next year.
Two council members - Denis Cyr and John Kelly - disapproved of the tax. Kelly pointed to an additional state tax, a potential county tax, plus the new city tax on top of the present Peoria tax rate of nine percent, all of which would make cannabis more expensive.
I"llegal sellers of marijuana, so called black market in marijuana, would be thrilled to know that we’re going to add another three percent to the tax burden on somebody who wants to buy this stuff. It will make their life a lot easier," Kelly said.
The council will vote later on whether to allow marijuana sales within city limits.
There are two public hearings on the matter - September 16 at the Peoria branch of Illinois Central College and September 23 at the Frank Campbell Center on Merriman Street. Both hearings start at 6 p.m.