STERLING, Illinois — Recreational marijuana will become legal in Illinois on January 1st. Cities across the Sauk Valley are gearing up and putting laws into effect to potentially welcome a dispensary in their towns. Earlier in the week, Dixon passed a three percent marijuana sales tax. However, in nearby Sterling, Mayor Skip Lee says his city is open-minded to having a dispensary in his city.
“The bottom line is that it’s legal. We view it as any other business,” Mayor Lee said. “We certainly like to have one if there’s going to be one because of the tax that’s associated with it. But we are certainly open about having it. We want to have it where it is going to be visible, easily monitored and we will cooperate with people who want to do a dispensary.”
Lee added his city is prime location for a dispensary because of its geographical location.
“We have great location if you look at how we’re an hour between Dekalb and the Quad Cities. We are a little bit more than an hour between Rockford and Peoria so we’re in a great location here,” Lee said.
Yet, the mayor mentioned that he could see some potential issues regarding this topic: most notably people being able to smoke and purchase the product at the same place.
“The only debatable thing might be — I don’t know what to call them. I call them the hookah bars, can you buy and consume at the same place and I think that would be rather controversial. I’m not at this time really in favor of that. If you want to buy and take it home, have at it,” Lee said.
The city of Sterling will hold a meeting on September 19 to hear from citizens as well about potential zoning for a dispensary.