By Howard Packowitz
BLOOMINGTON – Monday is a key day in Normal and Bloomington in determining if either community will allow businesses to sell marijuana for recreational use.
The Normal Town Council is expected to decide whether send a draft ordinance to the town’s planning commission for a November 7 public hearing.
In Bloomington, Cannabis Task Force members will present their findings to the city council at a committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The session comes less than a week after six of nine task force members indicated they want regulated marijuana sales in the city.
Council members will discuss the task force’s recommendation, and indicate if they want the panel to continue looking at such issues as zoning, whether to impose other regulations, and charge up to a three percent tax on cannabis sales. The council does not take formal votes during the committee-of-the-whole meetings.
In Normal, staffers have prepared a draft ordinance to be used as a starting point, even though the council can end the debate immediately by deciding not to schedule a public hearing.
Staff does not want cannabis businesses in Uptown Normal. They would also have to be 100 feet away from churches, schools, day care centers, hospitals, and nursing homes. Staff also proposes a 200 foot buffer from single-family homes.
The Bloomington City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m., while Normal’s council meets at 7:30 p.m.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org