Two businesses express interest as possible marijuana cafes in Rock Island

4 The Record

Mayor Mike Thoms prefers to see other cities lead the way

Recreational marijuana’s been legal in Illinois for a month and a half now.

Illinois recorded the second highest rate of sales per capita in its first month compared to every other state where it’s legal so far.

There aren’t a lot of options to buy it in the Quad Cities. One store in Milan is selling pot.

Regulations are in place and more are being considered for these businesses.

Rock Island city council is now considering giving the OK to allow marijuana lounges.

These are places where people could hang out and smoke pot together.

The owner of Hickey Brothers cigar bar in downtown Rock Island has expressed an interest in this, even indicating the survival of the business relies on it.

That matter is expected to come up for a vote at some point, but no timetable is set.

There are a lot of details to work out before we see any businesses like that.

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms helps sort all that out in a conversation this morning on 4 The Record.

We start with a broad view, as Thoms shared what impact he has noticed in Rock Island with the legalization, how seriously the issue of pot smoking cafes or lounges is being taken by city council and how much of the momentum that’s behind this is the threat that the current Hickey Brothers cigar lounge in downtown Rock Island would go out of business without it.

Thoms also addressed what the sticking points, the questions, the regulations that need to be hammered out to make these cafes possible, when he thinks a decision will be made, how much interest Rock Island has seen in terms of businesses applying for licenses and what kind of revenue he expects the city to generate from smoking lounges and retail sales overall.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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