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Springfield Aldermen Weigh Medical Marijuana Dispensary Options

Updated: Wednesday, August 13 2014, 10:36 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- With medical marijuana coming to Illinois, Springfield Aldermen are weighing options for where dispensaries can open. Could one be heading downtown? According to aldermen the answer remains uncertain.

Developers can begin applying for marijuana dispensaries across the state beginning in September. Right now, the City of Springfield is trying to decide where those could be located.

Mayor Mike Houston has said in the past that one of the only places a dispensary can be opened is in Downtown Springfield. He says that's because according to state law it must be far from schools, daycares and residential areas.

At a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night, aldermen questioned if that is truly the case and asked planning and zoning to provide a map at next week's council meeting of where dispensaries can't go.

"We have to follow the guidelines of the law. So we wanna make sure that it's not near schools, not near churches and I think that's why they put the original I-zoning in there because you look at I-zoning throughout our city. That's an industrial zoning. That means it's away from everybody," said Alderman Frank Edwards.

City Attorney Todd Greenburg says a dispensary can be built downtown because it would be considered under zoning similar to a drug store.

The topic has been moved to the debate agenda for next week's city council meeting on August 19th. At that time, aldermen should determine a date for a public hearing about the issue.Springfield Aldermen Weigh Medical Marijuana Dispensary Options

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