Bloomington’s newly assembled cannabis task force will hold a meeting for the first time on Thursday evening to discuss whether the city should allow the sale of recreational marijuana.
The meeting, intended to gather information and recommendations for the council, will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Miller Park Pavilion.
The meeting comes just three days after Decatur’s city council decided to prohibit cannabis sales in its city, despite the new state law that allows recreational marijuana usage, according to multiple sources.
Despite criticism from council member Kimberly Bray, the Bloomington council approved of Mayor Tari Renner’s slate of 10 task force members at last week's meeting.
Bray claimed, “Renner’s picks for the force were "biased" in favor of the allowance of recreational marijuana sales,” according to WJBC.
If this council approves recreational sale, the council will also have to determine whether to collect taxes on the purchase and work out the logistics of zoning for potential dispensaries.
One of the two council members who was appointed to the task force, Julie Emig, vowed the intentions of the panel are to take on the main issues in an “even-handed” method.
The task force was originally proposed by Jenn Carrillo, the other council representative. Carillo posted to her Facebook that the reason for a new cannabis law is not to create tourism or generate tax revenue, but rather to benefit those who have been failed from the war on drugs.
Including the two council representatives, the task force includes members of the Bloomington-Normal community. The members are Bloomington Assistant Police Chief Greg Scott, Police Sgt. Aaron Veerman, addiction specialist Deb Carter, Downtown Bloomington business owners Jan Lancaster and De Urban, John Walsh from the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Illinois State University Instructional Assistant Professor and Black Lives Matter activist Olivia Butts and President of the Bloomington-Normal Chapter of the NAACP Linda Foster.