SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending the city add two new business zoning categories to areas where marijuana dispensaries could open.
Two Aldermen, Doris Turner (Ward 3) and Erin Conley (Ward 8) asked the commission for the addition of at least the B-1 zoning.
"Recreational cannabis dispensaries in Springfield, it has to be looked at as a retail business, because that's what it is," Turner said. "In order for those businesses to be successful, they have to be able to operate in areas of the city of Springfield that allow for retail sales."
The commission voted 8-1 to add the B-1 and B-2 categories as suggestions for city council to consider at their next meeting.
"The ordinance that we put forth to go to the Planning and Zoning Commission would allow for [dispensaries] in B-1, S-3 and I believe I-2," Turner said. "B-1 is retail, S-3 is a lot of what's in the downtown area and B-2 is the expansion between the S-3 and B-1."
If the measure is passed by City Council, HCI Alternatives will try to move forward with opening a second location to sell recreational marijuana in the former Outback Steakhouse, located off Interstate 55.
"I'm excited a business is willing to relocate to the east side of Springfield," Turner said.
Currently, HCI has a medical dispensary downtown. The second location would be renovated for more than $1 million and create 40 new jobs.
"I think you will definitely see HCI located here, in this location, and I think it's absolutely wonderful," Turner said.
City Council will discuss the new ordinances on Nov. 19.