SESSER (WSIL) — The on-site cannabis consumption lounge set to open in downtown Sesser next month is receiving some opposition from local church leaders.
The Sesser-Valier Ministerial Alliance submitted a letter to the City Council. They say the coming Luna Lounge will have a negative impact on the community.
Eight area pastors signed the letter and delivered it to Sesser City Council, and what they’re looking for is additional oversight on a new type of business coming to their community.
Alliance president Kirk Packer says the group works with the City on several fronts and they appreciate the leadership and the good they do for the community. On this issue however, they remain at odds with their decision.
“In this particular case though, we feel like they’ve made a wrong decision,” says Packer. “As pastors, we’re often called to intervene in the lives of those who have been hurt by drug abuse, drug addiction, and so we see the mess that it can create in the lives of people.”
In the letter, the Alliance request the City limit the operating hours of the facility and for it to remain closed on Sundays. He says Packer says the Alliance believes bringing the lounge to Sesser sends the wrong message.
“By bringing in this lounge, we feel like it’s going to help promote drug use in the community, and in the lives of individuals,” says Packer.
The Ministerial Alliance also adds, decisions made to approve the Luna Lounge took place during the pandemic and didn’t allow enough time for public comment.
The Lounge is expected to open in April and is considered the first of its kind for the State of Illinois, which approved the legal sales or recreational cannabis at the start of 2020. The state left it to municipalities to allow, on-site cannabis consumption facilities to open within their communities.
Sesser City Council passed City Ordinance 2020-4 by a vote of 4-2 in March of last year, paving the way for the lounge to open.