Cannabis has been trending in the United States for one year now since the Farm Bill was passed in December 2018. While some people still associate cannabis to the ecstatic feeling that marijuana gives, others are more than happy to welcome hemp, a cannabis genus plant in their lives.
Hemp contains cannabidiol, or CBD, an anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive component that has plenty of health benefits. CBD is widely known to treat mental health disorders such as stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, Tourette and Alzheimer’s. It is also used for aiding in inflammation, swelling, irritation, redness, injuries, acute pains, and severe diseases such as Cancer.
But despite the buzz around CBD products and their benefits, there is a consumer market that still links CBD with the taboo of marijuana. Scientifically, the chemical responsible for causing users to get “high” or hallucinate while smoking pot or weed is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
The U.S. government has set a threshold limit for THC of 0.3% per unit, above which the product will be considered illegal.
The Barrington plan commission suggested the village to not allow cannabis dispensaries in the town when its recreational use becomes legal on January 1, 2020. The commissioners have pointed out the lack of interest by the residents in the decision and said that people have not publicly weighed in the importance of this issue.
Anna Bush, Chair of Plan Commission said that when Barrington trustees had suggested the commission to conduct a public hearing for the recreational cannabis issue, the elected leaders had a clear view on whether to allow cannabis dispensaries or not.
She further stated that the direction given by the Village Board was quite clear and there was no room for possible confusion or question.
However, the residents and other stakeholders who had attended the Plan Commission meeting on October 8 where the issue for cannabis dispensaries was one of the primarily focused topics, did not speak on the issue at all. She added that she does not recall even a single person expressing their views at the hearing.
Residents from nearby suburbs have attended meetings by the hundreds to voice their opinions and appointed leaders know how they feel about recreational cannabis dispensaries in their towns. But Barrington residents did not seem to get bothered whether or not the commission decides to allow cannabis dispensaries in the town.
Due to the lack of participation and what may be called a subtle hint, residents of Barrington almost conveyed as if they didn’t really care about this issue. None of the residents took a stand for themselves or the town to express how the public feels.
The commissioners finally decided to recommend to the Village Board that no cannabis-related businesses should be allowed in the town. Again, when the commissioner’s recommendation was brought out in the Village Board meeting on October 28, no individual stood up to express their concern about the issue.
The board will vote on the commissioner’s decision in a meeting on Monday. The recommendation is to amend the current village’s zoning code to ensure that any operational cannabis-related business is prohibited.
Governor J.B. Pritzker had signed the legislation back in June, legalizing buying and possession of up to 30gms of cannabis, or marijuana, for recreational use from January 1, 2020. The legislation also stated that the cultivation and use of the drug for some adults above the age of 21 and older will be legal. Additionally, the new law will allow municipalities to independently decide if they want marijuana-related businesses in their region.
Karen Darch, President of the Village said she had received a few emails and calls from people admitting that they oppose the idea of a cannabis dispensary in Barrington.
It’s quite surprising to see how the taboo related to marijuana still persists within the society, despite medical research and studied backing up CBD. Companies are entering the CBD industry at a rapid pace, and there are hundreds of believers that have faith in the medical benefits of CBD.
Reluctance from the public like this (in Barrington) might be a result of century-old perceptions built decades ago. It’s time people became more welcoming towards CBD as it has significantly improved people’s lives including celebrities, athletes and patients.