SAVOY — In October, Savoy leaders voted to impose a just-in-case three-percent tax on marijuana sales, but delayed a decision on whether to allow the drug to be sold at all in the village.
Now that a dispensary has expressed interest in opening in Savoy, that time has come.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the village board will vote on an ordinance to ban sales once recreational marijuana becomes legal statewide 29 days from now.
“They decided to take a wait-and-see attitude,” Village Manager Dick Helton said. “Recently, we’ve had an inquiry from someone who is looking at Savoy for a cannabis operation,” later clarifying that it would be a dispensary.
“The board could vote on it if they choose to,” Helton said. “But they don’t have to.”
At a previous meeting, the board had also considered allowing sales, but requiring special-use permits for any new dispensaries.
In earlier meetings, two residents have spoken strongly in favor of sales, while three others expressed a range of concerns.
At one meeting, trustee A.J. Ruggieri said he believed more members of the community were against sales than for it.
“In subsequent communications with citizens, whether it be in person or on Facebook, it is a close call, but the majority clearly, I feel, does not support it,” he said.
It’s unclear whether the sales ban will pass Wednesday, but several trustees have expressed concerns about embracing cannabis sales.
When Savoy moved forward with a sales tax earlier this fall, Village President Joan Dykstra said that “we wanted to make sure all our bases were covered legally and still send a message that we, at this point, are not inclined to allow the sale of recreational marijuana.”
Champaign and Urbana decided earlier this year both to allow sales and tax them at three percent.
Champaign is expecting an additional $625,000 to $955,000 in annual revenue, and Urbana could see another $275,000 to $550,000.
Each town has a medical marijuana dispensary.
Phoenix Botanical in Champaign has also received a license to begin selling cannabis for recreational use starting on Jan. 1.
NuMed in Urbana is seeking a recreational-marijuana license, as well.