City Council discusses future of recreational marijuana in Carbondale

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

Carbondale’s City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 24 to discuss the issue of recreational cannabis facilities opening in the city.  

These facilities would allow for the legal sale and distribution of cannabis as well as a smoking lounge. The smoking lounges would be within the dispensaries to help with odor control. 

Murphysboro and Marion have voted not to allow recreational dispensaries.

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It takes a 4 out of 7 majority in order for an issue to pass on the City Council, and five people including mayor John “Mike” Henry seemed in favor of these dispensaries, and said they believed it would be good tax revenue for the city. 

“If we do have a tax, any tax, it should be dedicated to a particular fund,” councilperson Adam Loos said. “What I would suggest would be a good use of that tax would be maintenance and improvements in city-owned and city-managed parks and green spaces.”

Both councilpersons Jessica Bradshaw and Jeff Doherty also said the taxes from cannabis sales should take over other taxes or be used to help fund parks in Carbondale.  

“It should come as no surprise that I support the legalization of recreational marijuana,” Loos said. “This is going to become legal anyway, so there is no reason to force our residents to travel out of town to get this product.” 

The council said the state would allow for a 3% sales tax with the sale and use of recreational cannabis.  

Loos said this would be a great way to boost tourism in southern Illinois and help businesses. 

Most Carbondale residents at the meeting were in favor of this issue, and said they believed it is a great decision for Carbondale. The discussion was met with applause from Carbondale residents. 

The council has not yet voted on the issue of marijuana, but the consensus was the majority of council members spoke in favor of bringing these facilities to Carbondale. They are set to vote on it at their next scheduled meeting.  

 Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BethanyRentfro.

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