Residents in the city of Naperville held a rally over the weekend to oppose the sale of recreational marijuana, after the first licenses were awarded to cannabis businesses in the state. Organizers of the rally said that they don’t want recreational marijuana to be sold in the city because they want to maintain a “family-focused” atmosphere, the Chicago Tribune reported.
It is still unclear how the recreational marijuana industry will work in Illinois, as every state has implemented different guidelines. The legalization bill will go into effect next year, and the program will begin very small. Thus far, only five locations will be permitted to sell the plant, starting on January 1st, and all of them are already medical marijuana dispensaries.
Naperville City Council members have been at odds about whether or not to opt-out of the statewide legalization transition.
Naperville has a tradition of going against the rest of the state to implement heavy regulations on personal choice. The city was one of the first in the state to raise the purchasing age of tobacco from 18 to 21 and the first to ban smoking in public places. They also banned video gambling, and they were the first city in the state to do so.
Despite Naperville’s resistance to seeing recreational marijuana sold in their city, a business located there received one of the only licenses given in the state so far. However, if the city council decides to opt-out, that license would be nullified and that business would not be able to open in Naperville.
At first, it seemed that the council was going to cave to the pressure from local busybodies and prevent cannabis businesses from opening in their city.
However, after a 5-4 vote last week, the council agreed to prepare the language for an ordinance that would allow the sale of recreational marijuana in Naperville, but under very specific circumstances, which would likely include more regulation than the rest of the state.