Antioch mayor breaks tie to allow sale of recreational marijuana
By a split vote, Antioch on Thursday became the most recent Lake County community to approve recreational marijuana sales.
Mayor Larry Hanson broke a 3-3 tie by voting in favor of ordinance changes to allow for dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses.
The measure acted on during a special meeting did not allow for cultivation centers or the transport of cannabis between marijuana business licensees.
Joining Hanson in approving the sale of recreational marijuana were Trustees Ted Poulos, Jerry Johnson and Ed Macek. Trustees Dan Yost, Scott Pierce and Mary Dominiak voted against. Pierce said he favored dispensaries only but wanted to hold off on the other related uses.
Recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1.
In Antioch, like other communities, any applications for marijuana-related businesses will require a special use permit that entails a public hearing and vote by the village board.
Communities that allow marijuana-related businesses can impose a sales tax of up to 3%.
Hanson said communities had no input into the state law that legalized marijuana for recreational use. Because it is legal, residents should have the ability to by it in town rather than travel to neighboring communities to get it, he said.
"I am not going to take a personal and moral position on something," he said. "We're supposed to uphold the law of the land."
Local municipalities have no control over who gets licenses from the state, he added, but the village wants to be prepared with the correct zoning if or when applications are received.
"We might not ever see one," he said. "We don't know."
While there were some supporters, a good portion of the public comment during a special information session in September was against allowing pot shops in town.
Hanson said there are "very limited areas" where pot-related businesses would be allowed.
"We have layers of protection. I think we took the middle ground," he said. "I don't even think the state has a true understanding of what they're doing."
State law prohibits the use of cannabis in public places, schools and child care facilities, among other locations.