Roselle voters in favor of recreational pot sales
Roselle voters this week showed their support for ending the village's ban on recreational marijuana businesses.
Two advisory referendum questions appeared on Tuesday's ballot.
The first question, which asked if adult-use recreational marijuana sales should be allowed in town, received 1,484 "yes" votes to 1,085 "no" votes, according to unofficial totals. The second question, which asked if Roselle should allow for the "growing, infusion, cultivation, processing, and transporting" of adult-use recreational marijuana, received 1,377 "yes" votes to 1,200 "no" votes.
But because both questions are nonbinding, it will be up to village officials to decide if they should allow businesses to operate under Illinois' Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which made recreational use and possession of marijuana by adults legal across the state.
While municipalities can't ban possession of marijuana, they can prohibit its sale in their communities.
Roselle trustees in December 2019 enacted a prohibition of adult-use marijuana businesses. The ban had been extended to June 28 to give village officials additional time to analyze the issue.
"I'm glad we were able to solicit more feedback from our residents to make the best policy for our community," said Trustee David Pileski, who was elected mayor on Tuesday. "I expect the board to discuss next how we would like to move forward on both matters."
Three candidates elected to the village board on Tuesday -- Thomas Piorkowski, Cheryl Lenisa and Tom Della Penna -- have previously said they were in favor of allowing marijuana sales and distribution as a potential source of revenue.
If a town permits marijuana sales, it's allowed to place local taxes of up to 3% on the sales.
"I believe that if we don't (support it) then they will go over a couple of blocks and somebody else gets the sales tax revenue from that," Lenisa said during an endorsement interview with the Daily Herald.
Still, some officials have been skeptical about the commercial viability of a dispensary in the village. Roselle's zoning rules would not allow for marijuana sales and distribution in areas zoned for recreation, child care, or residential uses.
Pileski has said a former gas station along Irving Park Road would be the most likely location for a dispensary.
"If you use the existing guidelines provided by the state, there are very few parcels that could be used for a cannabis business," Pileski said. "Ultimately the board needs to determine what criteria fits the character and needs of Roselle."