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Local

Rock Falls officials seek public input on marijuana plans

Marijuana plants.
Marijuana plants.

ROCK FALLS – Where’s a good place to put a marijuana dispensary? How many dispensaries should the city allow? What about businesses that allow on-site consumption – how will that work?

These are among the questions city officials are wrestling with as the Jan. 1 legalization of recreational marijuana approaches, and they want your feedback.

Residents interested in joining the discussion, or learning more on the direction the city might be headed, have two opportunities to participate, in public forums being held Monday and Sept. 12.

“We’d like to have anyone from the public be here to listen to the discussion or to throw some questions as well,” Mayor Bill Wescott said at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Under the new law, cities can ban dispensaries, and if not, can define what’s a “reasonable” number of dispensaries and where within the city they should be allowed.

Rock Falls council members have been discussing the issue, but no action has yet been taken.

The state has allotted 445 recreational dispensary licenses to be issued by the end of 2022; the first 75 licenses will be granted by May, and existing medical cannabis dispensaries, such as The Dispensary in Fulton, will be the first group eligible to apply.

Northwest Illinois can expect to get three of the 75.

To attend

The first public forum on recreational cannabis will be held at Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, 603 W. 10th St.

The second will be held during the Sept. 12 Planning and Zoning meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m., also in Council Chambers.

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