Five governmental entities in Fayette County are holding a public forum in Vandalia next Thursday to allow residents to voice opinions on the possible sale of recreational cannabis or cannabis-infused products locally.
The Fayette County Board, Vandalia and St. Elmo city councils, and Brownstown and Ramsey village boards are holding the joint public forum, set for 6 p.m. at the Vandalia Moose Lodge.
As of Jan. 1, Illinois residents will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of raw cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or infused products containing up to 500 milligrams of THC.
The forum will include an overview of the Illinois Cannabis Act as it applies to local goverments prior to public comment on local sales.
Comments will be limited to three minutes, with requests for two-minute extensions.
Anyone wishing to provide handouts for the forum are responsible for providing an adequate number of copies at their expense.
Under the new state law, local governmental entities are prohibited from imposing regulations that conflict with or are more stringent than state law.
However, they can apply certain restrictions limiting or prohibiting local recreational sales. They also can define zoning or permitting requirements, and also enact ordinances establishing penalties for violations.
Under state law, governmental entities can apply for a state license allowing for the sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Application does not ensure the awarding of a license.
While the Vandalia City Council has not yet decided whether to apply for a state license allowing sales, it has a draft of an ordinance that would impose a municipal cannabis retailers’ occupation tax, should they decide to do so.
In that ordinance draft is the tax rate of 3 percent of the gross receipts from sales of cannabis other than that sold under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced on Tuesday that applications for adult use cannabis licenses for new dispensing organizations are now available, with applications accepted from Dec. 10 through noon on Jan. 2.
The IDFPR stated that 75 conditional adult use dispensing organization licenses will be awarded by May 1.