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Rantoul considering adult-use cannabis craft grower business

tending to cannabis plants

Rantoul leaders are giving thought to a potential start-up adult-use cannabis craft grower business in the village. 

The News-Gazette reports Rantoul natives Dane Ehler, operator of Heartland Hemp Co., and Blake Schilb, shared a proposal with the village board at an October study session that would seek to change a village ordinance banning all community cannabis businesses. The business they seek to open would only allow for the cultivation, drying, curing and packaging of cannabis for either sale at a dispensary or use at a processing organization.

No local dispensing of the cannabis would be allowed with the amendment. 

Ehler started his business in Hangar 1 of the former Chanute Air Force Base. The hemp he grows is used to create fiber that goes into clothing, paper products and other items. After the COVID-19 pandemic hurt his business, Schilb, who has history with a cannabis craft-growing business in California, approached him about starting this business in Rantoul. 

Schilb told the board the the business creates an opportunity to "grow Rantoul, to hire locally and teach others about this aspect of the cultivation medically." He noted medical marijuana has helped people, and notably his brother, who saw it help with pain, nausea and anxiety as he battled a serious illness. 

The board decided to table a vote until November. The issue is expected to be revisited with a Nov. 2 study session so public comment can be heard. There would not be any vote until the board's Nov. 9 meeting. 

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