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Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 12:06 am

WEED-A-LICIOUS

With legal cannabis just around the corner, Springfield can expect at least one more pot shop within city limits in addition to two local medical marijuana dispensaries already in operation, one downtown and the other in Grandview. Chris Stone, CEO of HCI Alternatives that sells medical pot on Adams Street, confirms that his company has identified a second site within city limits where it hopes to start selling recreational pot once legal sales are authorized to start on Jan. 1. Stone declined to identify the site, but smart money says it is somewhere on the east side. HCI hasn’t yet closed a deal for the site, Stone said, and the city needs to pass an ordinance establishing where recreational marijuana sales will be allowed and other rules, including tax rates and whether on-premises consumption will be allowed. Mayor Jim Langfelder said the city will form a working group that will develop a proposal for council consideration. He said the group should be created by month’s end and an ordinance prepared by October. State law caps the number of dispensaries that will be allowed statewide and designates how many dispensaries will be allowed in any given metropolitan area. Over the next three years, Stone said he believes three additional dispensaries will open in the Springfield area under the legalization law that takes effect in January, for a total of five. “It’s not going to be wall-to-wall pot shops,” Stone said.

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