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Collinsville Considered As Possible Site For Medical Cannabis Dispensary

The General

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Illinois - A group interested in opening a cannabis dispensary in Collinsville approached the City last month to initiate discussions, officials have confirmed. The discussions are in the very early stages, City Manager Scott Williams said. "We have had preliminary discussions with a vendor who contacted us," Williams said. "We responded to questions about zoning and licensing."

Under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, effective Jan. 1, 2014, a city cannot create zoning laws to specifically exclude a medical marijuana dispensary. The Collinsville location, though, would require City Council approval. Williams said there have been no discussions about a possible location for the facility, which by state law must be at least 1,000 feet from an existing public or private school or childcare facility. If a dispensary comes to Collinsville, it will not resemble an Amsterdam coffee shop. State law prohibits the consumption of cannabis products in the dispensaries. State law also prohibits a dispensary from delivering its product.

There will be 60 dispensaries in Illinois, but only 22 outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. The area that covers Madison, St. Clair, Bond, Monroe and Clinton counties will have two dispensaries. Because the medical cannabis dispensaries will serve customers from a large geographic area, potential owners are speaking with communities that are easily accessible by highway, Williams said. Collinsville Economic Development Director Erika Kennett said she has discussions with her counterpart in Fairview Heights, which has also been approached to be a possible location. Mike Malloy, director of economic development for Fairview Heights, could not be reached for comment. The scarcity of dispensaries could make a Collinsville location an economic boon to the city. Cannabis products will be taxed at 8 percent, with 1 percent going to the municipality, Williams said. Cannabis paraphernalia is subject to Retailers' Occupation Tax at the general merchandise rate of 6.25 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Because Collinsville is a home rule community, it has the authority to add additional taxes.

Although the cannabis pilot program went into effect in January and ends on Jan. 1, 2018, the State of Illinois continues to refine the program and has not opened applications for cultivation centers, dispensaries, patients or doctors. Patient applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 2. Cultivation center and dispensary applications will be accepted Sept. 8-24. The State of Illinois expects the first dispensaries to open in the Spring of 2015, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The application fee is $5,000.
Applicants for a dispensary must prove access to $400,000 in liquid assets. The license is renewable each year for $25,000. According to State of Illinois guidelines, an applicant's security plan, along with the business and operations plans, will be given the most weight for consideration.

Only customers with valid registry identification cards from the Department of Public Health will be able to purchase cannabis from the dispensaries, which cannot sell any item that requires heating or refrigeration. Baked products infused with medical cannabis, such as brownies, bars, cookies, cakes, breads and pastries are accepted. Dispensaries will be required to use a web-based point-of-sale system to confirm that a patient is not receiving more than the legally allowed 2.5 ounces of cannabis per 14 days. If a dispensary is opened in Collinsville, it will have ready access to supply. Medical cannabis cultivation centers were recently approved in Marissa and Wood River.

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News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Metroindependent.com
Author: Roger Starkey
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Collinsville considered as possible site for medical cannabis dispensary « The Metro Independent
 
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