Wheeling looking to outlaw sale of synthetic cannabis products

A proposed ban on the unlicensed sale of cannabis-like products in Wheeling will move forward - just not this month, officials said.

The village board was set to discuss the plan during its meeting Monday night, but Village President Pat Horcher requested the item be pulled from the agenda without explanation.

In a subsequent interview, Horcher explained he wanted to delay the debate and vote because three trustees - Ray Lang, Dave Vogel and Mary Krueger - were absent.

Horcher wanted to hear all the trustees' opinions on the issue. He also wants to ensure there were enough votes to pass the proposal.

The board likely will take up the matter when it next meets Nov. 6, Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said. If it passes, the ban would be effective Jan. 1.

The proposal targets synthetically derived versions of THC, the high-inducing compound found in cannabis.

Some suburban convenience stores, gas stations and other shops sell synthetic cannabis even though they're not licensed to sell cannabis products.

Safety concerns have arisen because it's unregulated and has been linked to consumer illnesses.

"Product manufacturing is largely untested and unregulated," Wheeling Police Chief Jamie Dunne said. "(The) resulting creations can be much more unpredictable than marijuana and are often accompanied by questionable marketing practices."

Wheeling's proposal would outlaw the unlicensed sale, advertisement, display or delivery of such products. Fines would start at $500, and business licenses could be revoked.

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