After two public meetings about the likely arrival of recreational marijuana sales and cultivation come January, one thing seems clear: Forest Parkers are more curious than confrontational about legalized pot sales.
Some two dozen locals turned out Friday night at village hall to learn more about what it will mean if Forest Park is successful in attracting a vendor who will both grow the marijuana and also dispense it here — though in two distinct sites.
Residents wanted to know about odor control, about the safety of the chemistry involved in growing and processing. No one shook their fist and talked about the demon weed.
We’re with the majority here. Marijuana will be legal for recreational and medical use starting Jan. 1, 2020. Forest Park ought to take advantage of local jobs created, local property taxes paid, and gather in the 3 percent sales tax that will come straight to village coffers.
Next steps are for the village’s zoning board to amend the ordinance to create a “conditional use” for both production and sale of pot. That should happen in November. And in December the village board is expected to accept the zoning board’s recommendation.
While there are reportedly other potential vendors interested in Forest Park as a location, the favored vendor, perhaps because of the mix of cultivation and sales, is Michael Cardozo. He spoke Friday and was impressive in his responses to resident questions.
This process will happen fast and we’d like to know when other vendors might surface with their proposals and how those will be reviewed by staff and elected officials.