GALESBURG, ILLINOIS -- A store that will sell recreational marijuana is one step closer to opening in Galesburg, Illinois. On September 3rd, 2019, Galesburg city council agreed to let Nature's Treatment of Illinois open a store on one of the city's busiest corners.
Many residents attended the city council meeting and addressed the council, asking them to vote no to the location.
"I do not want this in my neighborhood," resident Dwight White said.
The former Aldi store has sat empty for the last six years, but people who live nearby say they need another grocery store at this location, not a marijuana retailer.
Supporters say deed restrictions prevent another grocer from moving into the building.
Those who spoke before the council say they understand recreational marijuana will be legal in the state, they just don't want a shop in their city.
"I can't be against the law," White said. "The state made the law. I can't stop that state government. But, I can stop where they are putting it. That is my concern. Right now, that's my biggest concern."
"What we need to do is figure out the best way to make the law work for the city of Galesburg," Ken Springer, Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development President said. "Frankly, that is by bringing in a regulated, safe, and taxable market to the community instead of allowing our citizens drive to the next town over or source it from the black market."
Six out of the seven board members approved the location. Springer says they plan to develop four more buildings at that intersection, including adding a coffee shop.
Nature's Treatment Dispensary says it plans to hire 25 people for the store when it opens January 1st, 2020.