SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Springfield's city council discussed two ordinances surrounding recreational marijuana use.
The first ordinance would add a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana. The second involves zoning restrictions.
The council discussed how revenue from the 3 percent tax would be split, with half funding police and fire pensions and the other going to economic development on the city's east side.
If the council passes the zoning resolution at the Sept. 17 meeting, the proposed changes would be referred to the Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission.
While some members of the council agreed if marijuana use is going to be legal, Springfield should benefit from it, others like Alderman Joe McMenamin had different ideas.
"I introduced a third ordinance, which we'll be considering in two weeks, which would ban the sales in city limits," McMenamin said. "I think there's a very broad concern that increased sales and usage will be highly detrimental to our families and to our students."
Despite recreational marijuana's uncertainty in the city, places like HCI Alternatives are gearing up for an influx of potential customers.
Policy Advisor for HCI, Chris Stone, said the business has already hired more staff.
"Right now, we are over 50 people between Springfield and Collinsville," Stone said. "We are getting them trained, not only for the changes of the medical program, but also for the recreational program."
HCI is also working on making sure they have the products they need in time for Jan. 1, so they don't sell out.
"We're expecting potentially five times the amount of customers we see on a regular basis," Stone said. "Prohibition didn't work, because people inside every house had alcohol. It's a similar situation with marijuana. Any number of people can go out and get marijuana on the street."