Despite traffic worries, council backs pot shop in north Normal

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 9:52 PM CST
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NORMAL (25News Now) - Traffic headaches were a concern of the only Normal Town Council member who opposed plans for a cannabis dispensary in north Normal.

The council voted 6-1 Monday night to approve plans for a dispensary called Ayr Wellness to move into vacant tenant space next to Moe’s Southwest Grill in the 1700 block of Bradford Lane, just off Raab Road.

Kathleen Lorenz cast the only no vote. Lorenz said she’s “not friendly” towards this type of special use.

“That area is congested,” said Lorenz.

“I’ve voiced considerable concern about the impact on traffic,” Lorenz also said.

The council previously approved plans for three other dispensaries for recreational marijuana use. Only one of them is operating so far.

“It’s among the most, if not the most stringent land use policy in Normal,” said Council member Kevin McCarthy, who voted with the majority.

Council member Andy Byars noted that the approval process has been done well, and there hasn’t been too much push-back.

“It’s a double thumbs-up for me,” Byars said.

This latest proposal was the first since the council added restrictions in August by doubling the distance to 200 feet between pot shops and schools, daycares and churches. Marijuana businesses also have to be at least 1,500 feet from other cannabis operations.