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Anna votes to support recreational marijuana sales

ANNA (WSIL) — With the new year less than three months away, leaders in Anna wasted no time in taking advantage of a new law.

On Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to pass two ordinances: one that supports the sale of recreational marijuana and another that places a 3% sales tax on those sales.

Starting January 1, Illinois will become the 11th state to allow recreational cannabis sales after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill last summer.

Anna city administrator Dori Bigler expects the city to generate up to $400,000 each year. So far, there hasn’t been a discussion as to how that money will be used.

"It’s just going into a general fund, and we can have discretion on that," Bigler said. "The council will all have input and have ideas and will want to do things and return it back into the community."

Rosie Naumovski, who owns and operates Thrive, a medicinal marijuana dispensary that also has a location in Harrisburg, says it’s a sign that communities are getting more comfortable with the idea of legalized cannabis.

"According to the bill there could be up to 500 dispensaries throughout the whole state," Naumovski said.

She’s already applied for a recreational marijuana sales license that’s expected to cost her around $32,000. She’s also required to make adjustments to her store and its policies before the new law kicks in.

"No one can enter our doors unless they are a medical cannabis card holder," Naumovski said. That will change come January 1, because anyone that’s 21 or older will be able to come inside the store."

Bigler believes marijuana’s reputation as a ‘gateway drug’ can fade away once communities begin to embrace the benefits of allowing such sales.

"You have to set your personal feelings about it aside and make it more of a business decision," Bigler said. "We took the approach of, ‘if it’s going to be here let’s make it a good thing for our community and lets hopefully grow the community through this."

Naumovski says she plans to open two more Thrive locations in the area, including one in Mt. Vernon.

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News 3 Staff

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