As Illinois prepares for recreational marijuana use, one city bans cannabis sales

O’FALLON, IL – The day after a Metro East city council voted to ban recreational cannabis sales within city limits, a non-profit group met in that community to help educate women about the opportunities available to them in this budding industry.

Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) held its first of nine events across the state Tuesday (Sept. 17) in O'Fallon, Illinois to help women find a future in the cannabis industry. According to event organizers, the opportunities are endless.

"It's such a new industry, a new economy that there shouldn't be a glass ceiling," said IWC member Cindy Kosydor. "It's too early for a glass ceiling to exist."

Kosydor said networking events like the one the group held at Global Brew Tap House in O'Fallon help women see how their career skills transfer.

Medical cannabis is already available in Illinois. Beginning January 1, 2020, anyone over 21 will be able to purchase cannabis without having to be registered with the state.

However, recreational cannabis sales are now banned in O'Fallon. The city council voted Monday (Sept. 16) to ban cannabis sales within city limits declaring cannabis establishments a nuisance.

Kirsten Velasco, board member of IWC, called the ban in O'Fallon disappointing.

"It's just a lack of exposure," said Velasco. "They're just like everybody elsewhere we're still getting used to saying the word 'cannabis' out loud, and they feel like there might be some unknown risk, so let's just shut it down because it will make it easier."

Velasco went on to say O'Fallon will miss out on potential revenue from the sale of cannabis. Some estimate Illinois will bring in anywhere from $50-million to $500-million in revenue.

"It's not necessarily revenue, it's what's the best for our community, what is best for the reputation of our community, which is known to be a safe community, one of good education, and a good place for families to live," said O'Fallon Mayor Herb Roach.

The same day O'Fallon voted in favor of banning recreational cannabis sales, the St. Clair County board voted in favor of taxing it up to an additional 3.75 percent.

O'Fallon residents may have a chance to vote on the issue in March 2020. The city council will review the results of the vote and decide whether to continue with the ban.

Future dates for Illinois Women in Cannabis events:

  • September 18 at Pizzeria DeVille in Libertyville
  • September 23 at District Bar & Grill in Rockford
  • September 24 at Shakers Sports Bar & Grill in Ottawa
  • September 30 at Big Swing in Rock Island
  • October 1 at Tuscan Hills Winery in Effingham
  • October 2 at Rock Run Convention Center in Joliet
  • October 8 at Nu Voh in Springfield
  • October 9 at Jupiters at The Crossing in Champaign
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