City declines applications to grow or sell medical marijuana

By Gary Brode |

Published 01/23 2014 12:09PM

Updated 01/23 2014 12:14PM

CHARLESTON -- The Land of Lincoln legalized medical marijuana, but city leaders here are putting the brakes on people growing or selling it. The city council is saying "no" to taking applications. WCIA-3's Gary Brode finds out why they voted it down.

Mayor Larry Rennels makes it very clear, they want to know all the laws before allowing the sale of it in his city. Medical marijuana guidelines came out Tuesday, but the city is saying "not so fast."

"Preliminary regulations that they put out for comment really only had to do with who qualified for it, but it had nothing to do with where and what zoning districts."

So, the city council decided to put a halt on the application process. They can't stop the use of marijuana in the city, but the sale of it can be regulated.

"It's just like any other business. We have zoning, like most cities do, and there are various other types of districts. Marijuana wasn't legal until the first of the year, so naturally, our zoning ordinance never addressed it."

People here will have two weeks to voice their opinions to the council before it goes into effect. The ban is for a year, but can be eliminated at any time. So, for now, they wait for their questions to be answered.

"Until the Illinois Department of Health issues their regulations, we don't know what we are allowed to do or what we can do."

Rennels says the city received zero applications prior to putting the moratorium in place which made it easier to put a stop to taking applications.

Currently, twenty other states have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington State recently approved recreational marijuana use as well.

They're the first two to do so, but it likely won't pass in Illinois anytime soon. All candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are against legalizing recreational marijuana.

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