ELMHURST, IL – Elmhurst Alderman Jacob Hill lightened the mood at Monday’s City Council meeting with an April Fool’s joke.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the hard work of staff and the police and the police chief and mayor in facilitating a new business in the second ward,” the Ward 2 alderman said. “I think Inhale Elmhurst will be a wonderful dispensary and open a new chapter for legalized cannabis in Elmhurst, and I’m really happy to be the one to announce this to the public and make sure everyone understands that this is a really important”

Then he started laughing, saying, “I’m sorry I can’t go on.”

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No such dispensary could come to Elmhurst. In 2019, the city banned recreational marijuana stores shortly after the state enacted a law allowing such businesses, giving localities the option.

The taxes generated by marijuana stores go to towns and the state.

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While Elmhurst enacted a ban, many other localities did not. Recreational marijuana is sold in the neighboring towns of Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, Addison and Northlake.

In Elmhurst, a billboard has been on Route 83 advertising the store in Oakbrook Terrace, reading, “Weed Love To See You!”

Elmhurst is among similarly wealthy towns that ban recreational marijuana shops. They include Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs, La Grange and Burr Ridge.

In his 2021 campaign, Mayor Scott Levin said he was open to reconsidering the city’s ban on recreational marijuana sales in town.

He told Crain’s Chicago Business after his election that the city may revisit the issue.

“The tax revenue could be significant,” Levin told the publication. “I suspect in the next year or so, we’ll at least look into it and say, ‘What’s been the experience of other communities?’ It doesn’t mean we will or we won’t, but there are enough reasons to look at it.”

In a candidate forum, Levin sounded a similar note.

“While I say no to gaming, we should carefully evaluate the experience of cannabis sales in communities that have allowed it and provide our residents the opportunity to fully participate in that discussion,” Levin said.

In 2019, the City Council voted unanimously to ban recreational marijuana businesses in Elmhurst. That consensus included Levin, then an alderman.

The marijuana issue has not come back to the council in the years since.

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