Knox Co. Board narrowly approves recreational cannabis ordinance

One vote was the difference in Wednesday night’s Knox County Board meeting that led to the passage of the county’s recreational cannabis ordinance.

Despite the majority of the board voting against the ordinance or not voting at all, the resolution passed six votes for, five against, and two abstentions. 

The ordinance allows for the recreational sale of cannabis as well as for growers, infusers, and other producers.

Zoning Committee Chair John Hunigan pointed out that the ordinance does not allow businesses to allow patrons to consume cannabis onsite.

“The takeaway I can say is Knox County does not allow any onsite consumption of cannabis. These places are not ‘stand around getting high’ places.”

Hunigan also indicated in the meeting that the State’s Attorney’s office drafted the ordinance and believes it meets the legal requirements by the state.

Newly seated board member Roland Paulsgrove gave his intention to vote against the ordinance prior to any votes being cast.

“People can say what they want to. That this will not bring any more crime or any more problems to our area. I think that’s probably a dream in somebody’s mind. I have definite reasons to believe that this can cause problems for Knox County, the City of Galesburg, and the State of Illinois. It’s still not legal federally. The State of Illinois jumped right in, passed it. That’s fine. I don’t believe it’s going to be a good thing for anybody.

Voting against the ordinance was Cheryl Nache, Rick Sandoval, Jared Hawkinson, and Brian Friedrich. Sara Varner and Todd Olinger abstained from voting.

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