By Steve Rensberry, Editor
Alderman on the Troy City Council voted at their Oct 21 council meeting to uphold a Planning Commission recommendation that city ordinances allow for one adult-use cannabis business to operate within the city limits, and only one, pending statewide legalization on January 1, 2020, allowing Illinois residents to possess up to 30 grams.
The final decision to approve two ordinances related to the matter, one dealing primarily with zoning and the other with enforcement, drew opposition from just two aldermen — Alderman Tony Manley, who voted “no” on the zoning-related ordinance, and Alderman Sam Italiano, who voted “no” on both. Alderman Troy Turner was not present at the meeting.
Since first discussed at a workshop on Sept. 30, Troy Mayor Al Adomite has described the limitation to just one dispensary through a special use permit — provided the city can even acquire one — as a compromise position. It was a position most council members appeared to have agreed with.
“I think this is a reasonable compromise,” Adomite said.
Adomite and City Attorney Fred Keck both had words of praise for members of the Planning Commission, who had discussed and worked on the issue at considerable length.
In addition to the zoning and enforcement-related ordinances, Keck said the city will eventually have to consider applicable tax measures. The city would need to have a tax ordinance in place prior to June 1, 2020 in order to start collecting any by Sept. 1, 2020.
The ordinance regulating cannabis retailers in the city effectively mirrors those requirements and restrictions reflected on the state level, and was recommended for approval by the city’s Law Enforcement Committee.
The ordinance forbids businesses from:
• Operating between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
• Advertising their product “in any form or through any medium that (1) is false or misleading; (2) promotes overconsumption of cannabis or cannabis products; (3) depicts the actual consumption of cannabis or cannabis products; (4) depicts a person under 21 years of age consuming cannabis; 5) makes any health, medicinal, or therapeutic claims about cannabis or cannabis-infused products; 6) includes the image of a cannabis leaf or bud; or (7) includes anh image designed or likely to appal to minors, including cartoons, toys, animals, or children, or anh other likeness to images, characters, or ph rases that is designed in any manner to be appealing to or encourage consumption of persons under 21 years of age.”
— Advertising their product (1) within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of “school grounds, a playground, a recreation center or facility, a child-care center, a public park or public library, or a game arcade where admission is not restricted to persons 21 years of age or older; (2) In or on a public transit vehicle or public transit shelter; or, (3) On publicly owned or public operated property.”
Other restrictions, some of which apply to individuals as well as businesses, make it unlawful:
• Possess or use cannabis “on a school bus, grounds of a preschool primary or secondary school, unless used by a qualifying patient or caregiver pursuant to the Compassionate Use or Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”
• To possess or use cannabis in a private residence used at any time to provide licensed childcare.
• To facilitate the use of cannabis by a person not allowed to use cannabis under the Act.
• To knowingly use cannabis in close proximity to anyone under the age of 21 who is not a registered medical cannabis patient under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
• To grow cannabis unless authorized under the Act.
• For any resident of Illinois to possess more than (i) 30 grams of cannabis flower; (ii) 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product; or, (iii) 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
• For any non-resident to possess more than (i) 15 grams of cannabis flower (ii) 250 grams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product; or, (iii) 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate.
• For a parent or guardian to knowingly permit the consumption of cannabis by a person under 21 in his or her residence, vehicle, or other property they control.
• Unlawful for a dispensary or any other person or entity “to encourage the sale of cannabis or cannabis products by giving away cannabis or cannabis products, by conducting games or competitions related to the consumption of cannabis or cannabis products, or by providing promotional materials or activities of a manner or type that would be appealing to children.”
Aldermen voted to accept the annexation from IDOT of a 5.3 acre piece of property along I-55/70 near the Wilson Heights subdivision, an unusual step for the city made necessary by the need to install stop signs at two nearby intersection.
Those stop signs, in turn, are being required by IDOT officials as a safety measure before they will allow the newly construction bike trail in the area to open. That trail, constructed by Madison County Transit, travels 10 miles to O’Fallon, but is currently being held up by the sign requirement.
To move the project forward, Troy was approached about annexing the land from IDOT, thereby having direct control over the sign installation, including police enforcement of the two intersections after completed.
Madison County Transit Board Chairman Ron Jedda was at Monday’s meeting to answer questions and discuss the project.
Jedda was enthusiastic in describing the $10 million, 10-mile-long trail project, which he said actually started about five years ago.
“It’s about at completion,” Jedda said. “The hold up is the stop signs.”
Jedda spoke about plans for MCT to further connect Troy to the larger bike system, with one possible connection entering Collinsville somewhere along Lake Avenue.
Citing examples of people coming from long distances to Madison County to ride on the trails, Jedda called it a real tourist attraction and something that is “well known throughout the country as one of the best systems around.”
Another trail section is being considered from the existing MCT Park and Ride Lot on South Main and US 40, extending south along Troy-O’Fallon Road to the subdivisions on that end of town.