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home : opinions : letters to the editor   May 24, 2016

8/27/2014 10:21:00 AM
Letters to the editor: Is Peru acting fairly toward all pot company applicants?

I would ask the city officials to be thorough and fair in the process used to evaluate applications for the medical marijuana processing facility.

There are a number of seemingly qualified applicants. However, only one applicant has been allowed to directly present to the council. This gives the appearance of favoritism, or at least pre-determination. If the city fails to allow all applicants the similar opportunity, the council owes the residents an explanation as to who made that decision

Even if the city does allow all applicants to present to the council, the city should strongly consider whether it wants to endorse “any” group.

What background, training, and expertise do the city council members have to be able to thoroughly evaluate nuances of this new and changing industry? The complicated nature of this process is no doubt the reason why the Illinois General Assembly, when drafting this legislation, authorized the Illinois Department of Agriculture to make the final determination.

The state is recognizing it would be difficult for each municipality to have adequately educated elected officials on this complicated agricultural issue. The city council members have little agricultural experience, and presumably no marijuana processing experience.

If the city endorses an applicant, that is ultimately unsuccessful with the state, this will create a politically embarrassing and functionally awkward relationship between the city and a major new industry.

While I recognize  the city officials for their interest in recognizing the importance of this new industry in our community, I would strongly encourage them to be certain that they are acting fairly to all applicants and to be cautious in their decisions.

O.J. Stoutner,

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