Grayville’s City Council made a bold move Monday night, voting to opt in to allowing the retail of recreational marijuana.

“We have been approached by some people who potentially want to bring a dispensary to Grayville…,” said Mayor Travis Thompson.

The individuals that are interested in setting up the dispensary are trying to bring local investors and supporters onboard representing their community support. Such support will help with their application process.

Thompson explained the opportunity and what it would mean for the city.

“As we all know, recreational cannabis is going to be legal starting January 1, 2020. As towns, we have the option to either opt in or opt out.”

While municipalities have the option to opt out of the retail of the substance in their towns, this does not at all prevent individuals from using it in their own homes.

“When you opt out, that doesn’t mean you are opting out of individuals smoking it at their houses. That doesn’t mean you are opting out of allowing it period.”

According to Thompson, opting in permits the board to ask City Attorney Jay Walden to “design an ordinance and everything that comes along with it—the fee structure for licensing for cannabis dispensaries and other related businesses.”

The mayor stated that Walden would be writing an ordinance that will allow the substance to be sold akin to the way alcohol is.

Though this is relatively new territory for many municipalities across the state, Walden said that this ordinance would be written “with the assistance of the Illinois Municipal League, with links to existing ordinances and statutory provisions.”

Thompson pointed out that this represents an opportunity for the town to collect more tax revenue.

“If we opt out, we are giving tax money away to other towns, because other towns are going to opt in.”

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