With one trustee dissenting, the Plainfield Village Board voted to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana sales in town.
In a 5-1 vote Monday night, trustees approved an ordinance to prohibit cannabis businesses in Plainfield — including all dispensaries, cultivation centers, facilities that would incorporate marijuana in other products, and transportation services for the drug.
Trustee Harry Benton voted against the ordinance, saying the businesses would bring more tax revenue to the village, and that no one knew exactly how much that revenue would be.
“It’s going to be here,” Benton said. “People are going to be using cannabis-related products within the town. There is an opportunity to get a little bit of tax relief from this, and I’d like to look at those options.”
Trustee Brian Wojowski pushed back.
“Not everything revolves around tax dollars,” he said. “I think there’s enough money in the pot.”
Wojowski said he based his information on studies he has seen that the village might not see more than $40,000 a year in extra tax revenue.
Wojowski said any additional tax revenue may be offset by additional court and overtime costs as the police deal with a potential increase in driving under the influence cases.
Trustee Cally Larson repeated her concerns about the state’s legalization of recreational cannabis for those 21 and older, which will take effect on Jan. 1. She said that enforcement of the policy — especially regarding DUIs —would be more difficult and time consuming for the police.
“I’m a firm believer that what you do in your home is your business, but now I have to worry about it on the road,” Larson said.
Police Chief John Konopek said after the meeting that his department would be adding additional training for its officers on how to recognize the influence of drugs on a driver.
He said that with no field sobriety test for marijuana, as there is for alcohol, his officers may have to spend a minimum of three hours taking a suspect to get a blood test.
Separately, village trustees in a 4-2 vote approved a request for a banquet facility in the urban market Sanctuary Plainfield, located on the corner of West Main Street and West Lockport Street.
A vote on the facility had been delayed last month as the trustees urged the applicant to come up with a better parking plan for events at the facility.
Trustees Larson and Margie Bonuchi voted against the measure, saying they still had concerns about increased parking and traffic woes in the village’s downtown.