Rock Island readying for recreational marijuana

Local News

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — The Rock Island city council is getting ready for recreational marijuana.

Council members took their first look tonight at where they’ll let businesses operate. Those include:

  • One is craft growers, which would be similar to a micro-brewery
  • Cultivation or growing centers
  • Infusing and processing centers
  • Stores that sell marijuana
  • Cannabis cafes

City leaders are looking at treating cannabis stores and cafes a lot like liquor stores and bars.

“The most we’d see in the whole state come January first is 110 places where you could buy recreational marijuana,” said Rock Island city administrator Randy Tweet.

Tweet said Rock Island isn’t likely to see one any time before next summer.

“We have been approached by some different individuals so we believe that there would be one that would come to Rock Island,” Tweet said. “It isn’t as if January first they can pop up anywhere. It’s a complicated process to get a license, too.”

It’s also expensive with application fees totaling $8,000.

But while the city council is ready to embrace the businesses they still have questions.

“What if I own a bakery,” asked alderman Dylan Parker. “Can I go down to the dispensary, buy the weed there, bring it to my business and cook it into my cupcake?”

Right now, there’s no sure answer, but Tweet said the conversation will continue.

“It’ll take some time to sort out,” he said.

People will be able to voice their opinions about the zoning at a public hearing on Oct. 2. City council will take the first look at an ordinance two weeks after that and hold a final vote at the end of the month.

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