Marijuana task force

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Mayor wants input on sale in Vandalia

By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

Before the state’s new recreational marijuana law goes into effect, Vandalia’s mayor wants some community involvement on whether it could be purchased here.
But his plan to get that input will not kick in until any possible changes are made to that law.
Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday’s city council meeting that he will be forming a task force that will look into whether the city would pursue a state license that would allow the sale of recreational marijuana in Vandalia.
That task force, he said, would consist of “business people and lay leaders” in the community.
Gottman said that he is holding off on forming that task force until the completion of the Illinois General Assembly’s fall veto session this October and November.
He is doing so, Gottman said, because the Illinois Municipal League is involved in the recommendation of any changes to the law.
Under that law, Illinois residents will be allowed to use recreational marijuana in their homes and grow up to five plants.
Gottman said that the state will issue permits allowing the sale of recreational marijuana to a limited number of communities, and that communities with medical marijuana dispensaries have first chance at permits.
“Not every applicant will get one,” he said.
Gottman said that in addition to discussions by task force members, he wants residents to weigh in on the decision.
His plan at this time is do a community survey, with each resident allowed to complete only one survey.
Under state law, municipalities are allowed to either make a decision on the sale or recreational marijuana or put it before the town’s registered voters.
“We don’t want to just jump into it,” Gottman said.
“It’s something that we really have to think about,” he said.
“This is new to all municipalities,” Gottman said.