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Marengo to host special meeting regarding marijuana regulations

Marengo residents will have a chance Monday to comment on potential regulations surrounding the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

Marengo’s Planning and Zoning Commission will host a special meeting at 7 p.m. at Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St. City officials will consider updates to Marengo’s zoning ordinance that would determine where marijuana businesses could set up shop and how they would operate.

Although there aren’t any businesses in Marengo authorized to sell marijuana, the city is laying the groundwork for other facilities, including cultivation centers, dispensaries, infusers, processors and transporters, to move in if they chose, City Administrator Josh Blakemore said.

Zoning standards for marijuana use must be in place by Jan. 1.

A tentative ordinance drafted by the city attorney would require marijuana businesses to obtain a special use permit and would bar them from sharing a property line with public or private schools or day cares. The ordinance also would allow marijuana businesses to operate in general business and regional shopping areas, as well as those zoned for manufacturing and agricultural transition, among others.

Marijuana special use zoning would not be allowed in the central business district. According to the proposed ordinance, craft growers tend to require about 5,000 to 15,000 square feet, with cultivation centers demanding about 200,000 square-feet.

Marengo could implement as much as a 3% tax on marijuana sales, excluding medical marijuana purchases. That’s in addition to the city’s portion of any regular sales tax and Marengo’s local sales tax.

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