KANKAKEE — With the legalization of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, Kankakee is considering regulating the industry.

Under a new state law, municipalities can ban marijuana shops, an option many are choosing.


Mike O’Brien

At this week’s City Council meeting, Alderman Mike O’Brien, D-2, announced that the council’s budget and ordinance committees will hold two public meetings this month about marijuana.

“We learned from our attorney and lobbyist that the law that was approved gives each community the right to opt out. If you allow it, you can develop regulation within your community. We had a discussion that went down that path — how we can regulate in the city of Kankakee,” O’Brien said. “We recognize we want to act quickly so we can be on the forefront of rolling out regulations, so that businesses that may be interested in this can come to the city of Kankakee in the relatively near future.”

The meetings are planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 and 24, in the training room in the city’s public safety building, 385 E. Oak St.

A number of Chicago suburbs already have voted to ban marijuana shops within their boundaries. Just this week, Naperville joined the group.

A couple weeks ago, a Kankakee County oversight committee deadlocked on whether to allow recreational marijuana sales in the county’s unincorporated areas. Opponents of the dispensaries talked about their personal opposition to such businesses, while supporters argued the county should not turn down potential tax revenue.

The full county board has yet to vote on the issue.

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