FISHER — Recreational cannabis won’t be dispensed in Fisher.
The village board Wednesday night voted not to allow the sale of the drug in the community — following residents’ expressed wishes.
The board directed its attorney, Marc Miller, to draw up two ordinances for it to approve next month. One will prohibit the dispensing of cannabis, but the second allows for a 3 percent village tax on marijuana if it is ever allowed.
Trustee Kevin Henderson said he has been reading up on the new state law that will allow use and sales of cannabis beginning Jan. 1. He said he learned the state will hand out just 75 licenses in 2020 and 110 the next year. Henderson said he can’t foresee someone wanting to set up business in a town of less than 2,000.
Henderson believes the expensive security measures for the shops set out by the bill will make the license holder seek a much more densely populated area to get a decent return on investment. But he supported instituting the tax in case someone in the future could convince the board that opening a shop in Fisher is a good idea.
About a dozen residents showed up for the public hearing. No one spoke in support of allowing a dispensary in town.
Police officer Greg Worrell said his wife is considering cannabis as a pain-relieving measure for her fibromyalgia, and he is open-minded about medicinal use. But he is concerned that legal recreational sales will mean the drug use will filter down to younger users just as the legal sale of alcohol and tobacco do. He urged the board to proceed with caution.
“I’d encourage everyone to do their own research,” resident Linda Thomason said. “I think some items in a person’s kitchen cupboard are more toxic than the THC in cannabis.”
Welcome back from overseas service
Mayor Mike Bayler also welcomed back Trustee Danny Spaulding, who has served the past year in Afghanistan with the Army.
And Village Administrator Jeremy Reale reported the village’s insurer will cover $19,000 in clean-up expenses and another $10,000 toward other needed repairs like floor replacement after a sprinkler activated in the mayor’s office last month. The city paid its $500 deductible but will also have to pay for service technicians to return before winter to replace the antifreeze loop in the fire suppression system for $6,000.00.