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Marijuana a concern for the alcohol industry

Association that represents alcohol businesses says it didn’t support recreational pot

Jeremie Carlson, sales manager for Euclid Beverage (right), talks with Michael Rotramel with Accel Entertainment, a video gambling machine distributor, on Monday afternoon at Grand Bear in Utica. They were attending the annual convention of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association this week where legislation was discussed that affects those who work with alcohol and the hospitality industry statewide.
Jeremie Carlson, sales manager for Euclid Beverage (right), talks with Michael Rotramel with Accel Entertainment, a video gambling machine distributor, on Monday afternoon at Grand Bear in Utica. They were attending the annual convention of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association this week where legislation was discussed that affects those who work with alcohol and the hospitality industry statewide.

Those working in the alcohol industry say Illinois hasn’t crossed all its T’s when it comes to recreational marijuana.

A question one local business owner has is how do license holders determine if someone is high on marijuana or being overserved alcohol?

Bob Stubler, an owner of the IV Super Bowl in Peru, attended an annual convention of the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association on Monday at Grand Bear Lodge in Utica.

The ILBA is the oldest business trade association in the country dedicated to promoting and protecting the retail businesses that sell or serve beverage alcohol. It was organized in 1880, the ILBA’s website says.

Recreational marijuana was one concern brought up at the conference. It becomes law on Jan. 1.

“We, the ILBA, were opposed to recreational marijuana,” said Dan Clausner, executive director for the ILBA. “There’s no clear roadside sobriety check for marijuana.”

He said the fear is someone is high on marijuana, then has a beer or glass of wine, gets pulled over, and the only thing recognizable on them is the beer, wine or liquor consumed.

“So it gets thrown in our counts, in our DUI counts, and we’re totally against that.” Clausner said.

Convention speaker state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said these are concerns she has and had in the past, and these topics are being discussed with authorities statewide.

“Impairment is very important to be able to be understand,” she said, and she does fear that there will be instances where it may not be clear if someone was overserved or high on cannabis.

She encourages those who are interested in the topic to attend local government meetings and be vocal about concerns.

Over 2,500 Illinois retail liquor businesses belong to the ILBA, a not-for-profit corporation.

Its members include taverns, restaurants, fraternal clubs, package stores, bowling centers, golf courses, hotels, gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores.

About 189 people registered from all over Illinois for the three-day convention, and there were 34-39 vendors who came to the event that makes members aware of new and upcoming legislation that affects their work.

Stubler said he attended the event to learn more about legislation.

These are questions state officers have to figure out, Stubler said about the trouble about determining if someone is high on marjuana or being over served alcohol.

“How come things aren’t in place?”

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and countyreporter@newstrib.com. Follow her on Twitter @NT_LaSalle.

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