Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner has named two police officers, two downtown business owners, an addiction specialist and five other community members to a new cannabis task force that the city council will consider on Monday.
The task force would also include city council members Jenn Carrillo and Julie Emig. The 10-member panel is expected to provide guidance to the city on how it should respond to Illinois’ new law legalizing the recreational use of cannabis that takes effect on Jan. 1.
Carrillo, who proposed the task force, said the primary issues for the city to tackle including zoning and taxes. Municipalities can tax marijuana retail sales up to 3%.
Council member Kim Bray said this week the council still should discuss the merits of allowing cannabis retailers in the city. Municipalities will not be able to ban use of cannabis.
Renner also plans to nominate BPD assistant chief Greg Scott and Sgt. Aaron Veerman to the panel, along with Jan Lancaster, owner of the Bistro and member of the Bloomington Public Safety and Community Relations Board; De Urban, owner of Kats Art and Antiques; addiction specialist Deb Carter; John Walsh, the McLean County Chamber of Commerce’s manager of government and public affairs; Linda Foster, president of the Bloomington-Normal NAACP; and Olivia Butts, an Illinois State University assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation and member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Renner has said he hopes the task force will have recommendations for the city council by the end of the year.
The state has started issuing licenses to sell marijuana. It plans to issue 75 licenses by May 1. Medical marijuana dispensaries are also allowed to apply for a second license to sell recreational cannabis at a second location.
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