City hears moratorium discussion

Corryn Brock

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The Charleston City Council heard from the public once again Tuesday about its Oct. 1 moratorium vote.

A moratorium is the temporary prohibition of an activity, in this case meaning that cannabis businesses are temporarily prohibited in Charleston until May 31.

Mayor Brandon Combs said the reason for the moratorium was to give the council more time to research the potential effects that having cannabis businesses would have on the city.

During the Oct. 1 meeting, Gary Henigman, of Charleston, spoke to the council to voice his disagreement with the council’s decision to approve the moratorium.

Tuesday evening, Henigman went before the council again during public presentation to express his concern on having the moratorium and inform them of a petition he is circulating to citizens and students in support of cannabis businesses in the city.

“With respect to the possibility of having an adult-use cannabis dispensary placed within the city limits of Charleston, I just want to say I would hope that this council and this community would be a leader and a trendsetter, we have an opportunity to be a part of Illinois history. This is something very new for the entire state,” Henigman said.

Henigman said he is concerned people may take their business elsewhere if the city does not approve cannabis businesses in Charleston and asked if the city has been in contact with Green Thumb Industries, a company that has reached out to the city about opening a marijuana dispensary.

Combs emphasized to Henigman that the moratorium is not a “yes or no” to cannabis businesses.

“We’re not saying no to business and Green Thumb knows that and so does several other people that have reached out to me. They all want to do things within Charleston and I have let them know that Charleston’s answer is not necessarily no,” Combs said.

All items on the agenda at the meeting were approved.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].