Smart on pot sales

Opinion: Editorials

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Oak Park is moving toward a reasonable middle place on the sale of recreational marijuana under the new state law that takes effect on the first of the year.

Other notable suburbs — Naperville and Libertyville, among them — have tilted to the extreme place of entirely banning the sale of recreational cannabis. That's a mistake.

Last week Oak Park's Plan Commission made its recommendation to the Oak Park Board of Trustees that the village should review all requests to open retail pot shops under the special-use policy already in place. So instead of a new marijuana vendor simply applying for a business license as a hardware store might, that request would be shipped to either the Plan Commission or the Zoning Board of Appeals for review. Final decisions then would be made by the full village board.

This recommendation will now go to the village board for its action. We support the plan commission's recommendation as a prudent moment of review of business people looking to move into a ripe but complex new retail category. Oak Parkers will welcome the tax revenue, the retail frontage filled, and the convenience for those who will be pot purchasers. But knowing that local government will have expectations and a review process within a somewhat vague state law is wise.

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