The Salem City Council Monday night will discuss opting in or out of marijuana dispensary sales.
City Manager Rex Barbee says the city has the choice of opting in or out of allowing any dispensary licenses within the city limits when the legalization of recreational use of cannabis for adults begins January first. If sales are allowed, he says the city will need to address some zoning requirements for State Licensed craft growers, cultivation centers, dispensing organizations, infusers, processing and transporting organizations as those businesses develop and possibly seek to locate in Salem.
If approved, the city also has the opportunity to impose a Municipal Cannabis Retailers Occupation Tax of up to 3%.
Barbee is seeking direction from the city council on how to proceed.
Salem Police Chief Sean Reynolds has told WJBD/WSIQ news he does not oppose allowing the sales within the city limits. He notes they will be dealing with the legalization of cannabis for adults anyway and allowing sale locations in the city would provide the city with the opportunity to collect additional sales tax revenue.
Other issues on the agenda include an update from the Greater Salem Area Foundation/Mission Salem on their organization’s activities for the last year.
The council will be asked to award a bid for sanitary sewer work on a portion of Illinois Street and a continuation of the sewer line replacement along Town Creek from East Clark to East Main Street. The apparent low bidder that is recommended for the project is JK Trotter and Sons at a cost of $361,464.
The council will review proposals for the supply of electric services to city facilities and street lighting. All of the proposals from AGE are lower than what the city is currently paying. The current contract with Homefield Electric for electric services ends in April.
Final approval is being sought on restricting public comments at City Council meetings to five minutes per person and no more than 45 minutes per meeting to prevent any abuse of the public comment period. Council members were told they had the ability to waive the limitations depending on the topic being discussed.
The Salem City Council meeting begins at six Monday night at Salem City Hall.