Opting Out Supporters
Supporters of opting out of adult-use cannabis sales in Naperville hosted a forum recently at the Naperville Woman’s Club where several city leaders gave their reasons why opting out is the right call.
“I’m of the opinion, and I think it was echoed by our panelists tonight, that the money, relative to the concerns at hand, is really immaterial,” said Councilman Kevin Coyne. “We’re a big city, we’re a strong city financially. The revenue stream that we’re talking about is not worth the tradeoff of the certain social impacts that are going to come with having these stores in our community.”
Residents were invited to listen to presentations by Dr. Aaron Weiner of Linden Oaks Behavioral Health and the Naperville Police Department’s Chief Bob Marshall, both whom encouraged opting out.
There was also time for a Q&A with the audience, who had questions about the economic impact and how adult-use cannabis sales will affect Naperville’s image.
“After tonight, I think it would be important to look at how neighboring communities, [how] it affects their government,” said Neuqua Valley senior Erin Dorsey, who said she voted early on the referendum.
City council will consider the results of the non-binding citywide referendum when they vote on the issue of adult-use cannabis sales in Naperville at a future council meeting.
Advocates for Opting In
Advocates for Naperville’s opt in group recently gave us a tour of the 3C Compassionate Care Center and told us why they think the sale of cannabis should be legalized in the city.
The facility has been in Naperville since 2016 and is the only medical cannabis dispensary in the city. Customers of 3C are vetted before they’re buzzed in, then let into a room where they can purchase cannabis, paraphernalia, and other things.
Green Thumb Industries, the parent company of 3C, believes if the city decides to opt in Naperville could see tax revenues as high as $2 million.
“Last year when people were debating numbers it really was quite hypothetical and people had to look to other states revenues,” said Dina Rollman senior vice president of government regulatory affairs at Green Thumb Industries. “Now we’re more than two months into adult use sales in Illinois so we do have those figures to go off of.”
Rollman said the additional revenue could be used to fund mental health and substance abuse programs.
Crime rates relating to marijuana could also potentially go down, according to Rollman, if Naperville legalized the sale of pot.
“That also should help put illegal drug dealers out of business. As more and more people convert to purchasing legally there’s really less and less incentive for illegal drug dealers to look for business in Naperville,” said Rollman.
3C officials said if the city does choose to opt-in to cannabis sales, medical users would still be priority number one for their location.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski and Christian Canizal report.
Check out an educational discussion between Mayor Steve Chirico (Opt In) and Councilman Kevin Coyne (Opt Out) to hear more talking points.
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