The Town Board of the Town of Orange is looking to opt out of any marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites due to a lack of information. There are two bills in front of them, one for each type of site. One bill would allow these types of businesses while the other would ban them.

Town-Board-looking-to-opt-out-of-marijuana-dispensaries-consumption

 

On Wednesday night, the Batavia Town Board decided to hold a public hearing on a motion that would allow the town to opt out of permitting cannabis retail outlets and on-site consumption locations under New York’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act.

Following the monthly board meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road, Town Supervisor Gregory Post stated, “I don’t believe there’s enough information from the State of New York to get into something that we’ll never get out of.” “The basic line is that we can always opt in when we have more information, and it is something we can manage.”

“A decision taken by five individuals (the Batavia Town Board) definitely isn’t a clear and transparent reflection of the whole community,” Post expressed worry.

If a municipal legislation allowing people to opt out passes after the public hearing on Nov. 17 at 7:10 p.m. at Town Hall, it may lead to a permissive referendum called by citizens who disagree with the town’s choice.

“Those opposed to the legislation may get together, go on the ballot, and ask the community whether they want it or not,” Post added. “This is, in my view, too early in the game… and into this thing without knowing the long-term repercussions or financial implications.”

The supervisor did admit that ultimately opting in to the new legislation might be “profitable” for the municipality, which would earn 3% of all cannabis-related sales taxes. The state would receive 9% and Genesee County would get 1%.

“The county, which will be responsible for 100% of the cost of mitigating via mental health services, probation, and any problems that arise from sales to minors – all of the cost and expense to the community through the health department – will get just 25% of that (4%),” he said.

Post also mentioned that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, and that routine drug testing of commercial truck drivers, who are required to be substance-free, would continue.

“Some of our biggest employers, such as Graham, O-At-Ka Milk, HP Hood, and others that make food and are deemed strategic investments, must comply with government supervision and control,” he added. “It’s believed that if marijuana is authorized in your area, you’re OK to use it, and then you go to work and find out you can’t work because you passed a drug test.”

“We’re seeing up to 50% of drivers fail drug tests because they assume that if it’s legal, then I don’t have an issue with it.” It is, however, an issue.”

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the MRTA into law on March 31, paving the door for a $1 billion business with anticipated yearly income of $350 million and the development of 30,000 to 60,000 jobs.

Adults aged 21 and older are permitted to possess, exhibit, buy, obtain, or transport up to 3 ounces of flower or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis under the new law.

It also extends New York’s current medical marijuana program, allowing qualified users to consume cannabis in public places where tobacco is permitted.

Because the federal government still retains authority in certain areas, smoking is not permitted in schools, federal property, businesses, or transportation.

Retail dispensaries, which may be storefronts to buy products for home use and adult use consumption, and lounge-like places for purchase and use on-site, are the two kinds of retail sites.

Municipalities have until December 31 to opt out of any dispensary or on-site consumption facility that is located within their jurisdiction.

 

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