MOUNT CARMEL – The Wabash County Commissioners passed the first two ordinances regarding recreational marijuana in their meeting on Monday.

The County is able to, by ordinance, impose a tax upon the gross receipts of sales from individuals engaged in the business of selling cannabis at retail locations in the county. The tax rate may not exceed 3.75% throughout the county and .75% in the municipalities.

Commissioner Robie Thompson said that was the max and that is what the County's ordinance states.

“(Commissioner) Tim (Hocking) went to the meeting in Springfield, I went to it, the Mayor went, and I know the Sheriff has been involved in different things too, and it's here so we have to do something with it,” said Commissioner Robert Dean.

“If we enact this ordinance and there is even an establishment in the County, we will collect some tax to deal with the problems and situations that it creates,” said Thompson.

The commissioners voted to pass the ordinance establishing county cannabis retailer's occupation tax.

The second ordinance limits county cannabis business establishments.

According to Dean, in the information provided at the meeting in Springfield, there may never be an establishment in the area, but there must be an ordinance that allows for business to be established to collect any potential tax.

“They said at the meeting that in the City of Chicago there are 47, and there is only one in Springfield,” said Dean. “It's not like they are everywhere.”

Thompson said that it was mentioned that there may only be two in Southern Illinois starting out.

“If we get out in front of it on this, then they will at least know we are accepting of it,” said Dean.

The ordinance sets the limit of businesses in the county at two.

The commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously.

In other county business:

WEMA Coordinator Gerald Brooks stated that he applied for grant funding from the State providing NARCAN to the emergency response units in the county. Brooks said that Allendale will have NARCAN on two emergency units and WEMA will have it on three. He added that the State said in an email that there was not much response to the grant offering, so other units in the area should consider applying for the grant funding.

NARCAN Nasal Spray can help reverse an opioid overdose.

Wabash County Supervisor of Assessments Debbie Gittings said that the office has hired John Batchelor as a part time data collector. Batchelor will begin his work across the county, reviewing properties for changes that have occurred since last year.

Sheriff Derek Morgan commended his deputies on their work over the last few months combating meth.

“Deputy Bogart worked really hard and has had some really good results,” said Morgan.

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