A cannabis dispensary is one step closer to being in Macon County. It should be located in Decatur
On August 19, the State of Illinois announced the results of the Tied Applicant Lottery for 75 Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Dispensary Licenses. One Conditional License is available in Macon County and an applicant for Macon County was selected in the lottery. While the results of the lottery could change due to court orders or administrative review, if the lottery result stands, the applicant will receive a Conditional License and have 180 days to identify a physical location for the dispensary (and can receive an extension of an additional 180 days). While the Decatur City Council voted 6-1 against allowing a dispensary and other cannabis-related businesses, the village of Harristown is one municipality that opted in.
THE DECATUR CITY COUNCIL SHOULD REVERSE ITS DECISION AND VOTE TO ALLOW A CANNABIS DISPENSARY
The city of Decatur needs to find new sources of revenue. Decatur is one of the fastest shrinking cities in the United States. Between 2010 and 2020, the population of Decatur shrank 7.4%. Simultaneously, taxes and the costs of government services have gone up. A cannabis dispensary and other cannabis-related businesses will bring a needed source of revenue and jobs to the city.
The city estimated the revenue of sales from cannabis products at $206,000 - $360,000 annually. This new revenue can be used to help fund the city's priorities such as neighborhood revitalization and/or assist in providing public services such as police and fire protection. The absence of a dispensary in Decatur likely means this projected revenue will go to a nearby municipality such as Harristown that will allow cannabis sales.
CITIZENS WANT A CANNABIS DISPENSARY IN DECATUR
On March 17, 2020, residents of Decatur Township (which comprises ~70% of Decatur residents) voted in an advisory referendum on whether the city should allow the sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products to individuals over 21. There were 5,382 ballots casts with 62% voting yes and 38% voting no. More yes votes were cast for a dispensary than any of the three winning city council members received in the April 2021 election.
Macon County is one step closer to having a cannabis dispensary. It should be in the city of Decatur. It is time for the city council to reverse its decision and allow a dispensary and other cannabis-related businesses such as cultivation centers and processors.