WASHINGTON — City officials will consider allowing retail outlets for marijuana products to open in town after it becomes legal statewide Jan. 1 for adults to possess and use marijuana recreationally.
"Because of the revenue stream it would create, it's something we should at least discuss," said Mayor Gary Manier.
The city could impose a sales tax of up to three percent on recreational marijuana products that would be in addition to the normal sales tax.
"I don't see this (the sale of recreational marijuana products) as being any different that having cigarettes and alcohol for sale, which we allow," said Alderman Brett Adams.
City Administrator Ray Forsythe said retail marijuana sales in Illinois won't look like places like Oregon and Colorado, "where there's a shop on every corner."
There will be no more than 290 retail outlets in the state by the end of 2020 and no more than 500 retail outlets across Illinois by Jan. 1, 2022.
Alderman Brian Butler said he's concerned that "black market" sales of marijuana will expand in areas where there aren't retail outlets.
Police Chief Mike McCoy said there won't be a need to hire more police officers because of recreational marijuana sales.
City Council members are unanimous in their opposition to allowing the use of recreational marijuana in any public space.
An ordinance allowing retail outlets for recreational marijuana products in certain areas of the city and banning the use of recreational marijuana in public places will be presented to the City Council in the near future.
Morton and El Paso officials have passed ordinances that ban recreational marijuana businesses from operating in their communities.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.