Tolono to seek input on cannabis sales via advisory referendum – Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

TOLONO — Tolono is seeking feedback on whether cannabis sales should be allowed in the village.

An advisory referendum was placed on the Nov. 3 ballot after “a couple local business owners approach(ed) the village board to ask about opening a dispensary,” village President Rob Murphy said.

The ballot question reads: “Shall the Village of Tolono allow a recreational cannabis dispensary within the Village limits?”

Tolono has already passed a 3 percent tax on cannabis sales in case a dispensary ever opens, but Murphy said it didn’t receive the feedback it wanted on the larger question of whether to allow sales in the first place.

“We went ahead and passed the tax, but then we had several meetings discussing it, and we couldn’t get a lot of input,” Murphy told The News-Gazette. “So we decided to take it out to a referendum.”

When the village board previously discussed cannabis sales in 2019 and earlier this year, Murphy said there was “one church group that is kind of against it,” and “we had some local business owners that showed up.”

“We know there’s more people out there that have an opinion,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he’s undecided on the issue.

“We could use the tax dollars, but I see both sides,” he said. “Do I think it will bring bad people to the community? Not really.”

But he said, “I can see good and bad with both.”

If a dispensary were to come to the village, Murphy said he’d seek “extra rules” beyond what is required by the state.

Murphy said he’s not sure which way the referendum will go.

“We’ll see what happens after the election,” he said.

 

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