Champaign County Board Sends Rural Cannabis Firms Proposals Back To Committee | News Neighborhood/State


Champaign County board members will take a further appear at irrespective of whether to let or prohibit cannabis organizations in unincorporated locations — with an eye toward a achievable compromise.

The Champaign County Board split along celebration lines in its debate more than irrespective of whether to ban cannabis organizations in rural locations. Democrats from Champaign and Urbana opposed the ban, although the county board’s largely rural Republicans mentioned their constituents do not want a cannabis dispensary nearby.

Republican Jodi Eisenmann singled out the unincorporated town of Penfield, a handful of miles from exactly where she grew up, as a location that is not prepared to deal with issues that a nearby cannabis dispensary could trigger. She mentioned the tiny neighborhood has handful of organizations to start with, and that sheriff’s deputies would have to drive for miles to attain them if an emergency arose. Eisenmann mentioned residents there would locate a cannabis dispensary potentially overwhelming if 1 opened up in their location.

“They do not want it in Penfield,” mentioned Eisenmann. “They do not want it in the unincorporated locations. So I’m just asking you who reside in towns, who are not representing these persons, to please quit and listen to what the persons want.”

Eisenmann and other Republicans argued that the county must wait to see how Champaign and Urbana handled any issues with their cannabis organizations just before enabling them in unincorporated locations.

It was Urbana Democrat Pranjal Vachaspati who recommended a compromise.

“Just mainly because we ban dispensaries, it does not imply we have to ban almost everything connected to the entire cannabis market, suitable?” mentioned Vachaspati. He mentioned he could assistance such a move, in portion mainly because he believed the likelihood of a dispensary opening in a rural location would be low. (Republicans challenged this, saying that taxes on cannabis organizations would be reduced in rural locations than in Champaign and Urbana).

Banning cannabis dispensaries alone would nevertheless let cannabis growers, processors and transporters to operate in rural locations.

The county board voted to send the cannabis problem back to its Atmosphere and Land Use Committee (ELUC for quick) for reconsideration. The committee, meeting on November 7 with 1 Democratic member absent, had developed tie votes on a proposal to permit cannabis organizations and a further to prohibit them.

Eisenmann, fellow Republican Jim McGuire and Democrat Connie Dillard-Myers voted against the move to send the problem back to committee. But ELUC’s Republican chairman, Aaron Esry, says a compromise could possibly be achievable.  

“I consider perhaps each sides had been perhaps guilty of not coming to the middle,” mentioned Esry.

Also on Thursday evening, Pranjal Vachaspati announced his resignation from the Champaign County Board at the finish of the meeting. The computer system science engineer says he’s getting his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois this winter, and has accepted a job in Boston with tech giant Google. Vachaspati was appointed to the county board about a year and a half ago, and was elected to a 4-year term in 2018.


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