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Local leaders have the choice to not have dispensaries in their county

MARION (WSIL) –In about five months you’ll be able to buy marijuana over the counter in Illinois. State lawmakers gave us that option by passing the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Beginning January 1, 2020, adults over 21 will be able to legally purchase cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries across the state.

State Representative Dave Severin says he didn’t vote for the bill and he’s still unhappy about this new law. 

"I don’t think it should be looked at as, hey, let’s do this because it’s a revenue enhancement," says Severin. 

Under the law signed by Governor Pritzker, dispensaries can sell both medical and recreational cannabis products if they pay a fee or pay a tax of up to 3-percent on annual municipalities sales.  

In the same law municipalities can opt out of having dispensaries that sell recreational marijuana.

Cody Moake, the chief of staff for the city of Marion, says city leaders are trying to understand the new recreational cannabis law, and how it’ll benefit residents. 

Moake says, "We’ve got to understand from every aspect from the governmental aspect. What are the benefits? What are the pros? What are the cons?" 

Moake says city leaders haven’t  had the opportunity to make a unified decision regarding opting out. They plan to hold a meeting to vote on it but no date has been set.

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