DANVILLE — A Champaign doctor argued passionately Thursday night that opening a medical marijuana dispensary at his Danville clinic would help people suffering with pain, but the city’s planning and zoning commission did not give its support.
“It works. It works,” Dr. Linus Anukwu said, trying to explain the benefit of medical marijuana to members of the commission.
Addressing their chief concern, Anukwu said the security measures being required by the state for dispensaries — an armed guard, security consultant and camera system — are very stringent.
The panel was deciding whether to recommend that the Danville city council approve a special-use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary inside the Med Plus Pharmacy and Bayview Clinic building at 3595 N. Vermilion St.
Anukwu is the chief executive officer and owner of the Bayview clinic in Danville and the Bayview Family Clinic at 805 W. Springfield Ave. in Champaign. Bayview clinic shares the Danville building space with Med Plus Pharmacy, which is owned by pharmacist Fidelis Keke of Urbana. Anukwu, Keke, fellow business partner Ryan Bradley and their clinic director, Kim Ratts, all spoke on behalf of the permit Thursday night.
They have applied to the state for one of two medical marijuana dispensary licenses that will be granted within Illinois State Police District 10, which includes Champaign and Vermilion counties. The state has received eight applications for the two licenses in District 10, according to Melaney Arnold with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the state is requiring each applicant to have zoning approval for its proposed site.
After hearing objections from a homeowner who lives near the proposed Danville site, the president of the Landmark Credit Union next door and the minister of the nearby Rock Church, five of the planning and zoning commissioners voted not to recommend the permit. Only one voted in favor.
The city council will make the final decision at its Nov. 18 meeting, but without a recommendation from the zoning commission, a two-thirds vote is required for approval.
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