Plank Asks For Voter Referendum On Downtown Wood River Cannabis Dispensary
WOOD RIVER - Wood River City Council member Jeremy Plank has proposed a voter referendum on the possible Wood River Cannabis Dispensary in the downtown area.
“When elected to Wood River City Council two short years ago, I promised to bring transparency to the process and to work to build our downtown,” he said on Tuesday. “Last night, I asked that the March 20th council agenda include a vote to rescind the January 3rd vote that placed a cannabis dispensary in downtown Wood River, within four blocks of Lewis and Clark Elementary School. I also asked that a referendum of the voters be requested by City Council to give Wood River voters a chance to weigh in.
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“The January 3rd vote came after just two business days’ notification and virtually no time for discussion. This decision was made without proper public input, and without a survey of downtown business owners. Our city should not be run this way. I will continue to be a voice for taxpayers, job creators, and residents looking for a better, more transparent Wood River.”
Wood River Mayor Tom Stalcup said the present proposed marijuana dispensary location would be next door to Cleary’s Shoe Store in Downtown Wood River on Ferguson Avenue. He said the potential investors in the operation are waiting on license approval for the final purchase of the building.
“I understand that Jeremy (Plank) objects to the dispensary,” Stalcup said. “We looked very hard at this already and there haven’t been any issues with the ones in Fairview Heights and Collinsville and others across the state. It is regulated by the state. The tax benefits for Wood River would be great. I am good with it and hopefully, it will go through. It would be a good business addition for Wood River."
Wood River City Council candidate Bill Dettmers made the following statement about the cannabis business in downtown: "I think a cannabis dispensary is a highly controversial issue and should not be left to the city council to decide. This reminds me of the Rec Center and should be resolved by a binding voter referendum. Voters should decide if they want a dispensary and whether it should be in downtown or in the Enviro-Tech Park."
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