Local economies could benefit from medical marijuana

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com

Published 07/14 2014 04:26PM

Updated 07/15 2014 06:24PM

Update: 5:49 pm, 7/15/14, Tuesday
ILLINOIS -- Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legal in the state. Lawmakers approved rules for the state's pilot program Tuesday. It means people wanting to grow and sell it can start applying for permits.
Original: 4:26 pm, 7/14/14, Monday
ILLINOIS -- The medical marijuana business could not only be helping patients, but it could also be helping smaller economics. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs finds out about one village keeping all its options open.

"Well, I would say that we would probably consider it. We will always consider anything."

The medical marijuana business is looking to set up shop in Illinois and Williamsville village president Thomas Yokley says it's something to think about.

"It would be up to the board, you know, obviously, if they met the zoning and met all the other criteria."

District 9, which consists of the Sangamon County area, is in need of at least two cultivation centers, so aspiring owners, like ABIDE Illinois, are going village-to-village looking for the right spot.

"We, as growers, have to do our do diligence to make sure that we find a site that is workable for us. And, there are four to five key elements to do that. We need extensive use of electric, gas. We need extensive use of water and we need sewer."

Mark Strawn, of ABIDE Illinois, says the cultivation center can be a "plus" to a small town.

"I don't know if they're going to be in the dozens and dozens and dozens of jobs, but there will be new jobs created and there will be fairly well-paying jobs."

Even though Williamsville has not been asked, it could be an option.

"We would never say 'no' without hearing all of the ins and outs.'"

ABIDE Illinois is already looking at locations in Springfield. Tuesday, lawmakers on the committee which sets the rules for medical marijuana will meet in Chicago.

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