Last Chance For Locals To Opt Out Of Pot

The end of the year is fast approaching. From now through December 31, 2021, cities, towns, and villages across New York can still opt out of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites to open within their boundaries.

According to State of Politics, many municipalities have opted out because of a lack of information from the state, while others want to wait and see how the new marijuana law affects other cities and towns. Regardless of the reason, these municipalities are making the right move. While municipalities that opt out will not receive a cut of the tax revenue from marijuana sales, they will avoid the hazards and headaches of policing marijuana facilities and the unlawful activity (for example, driving under the influence) that may occur near such facilities.

Communities that have opted out of allowing retail marijuana establishments include Brutus, Port Byron, Fleming, Locke, Mentz, Springport, Aurora, Fair Haven, and Union Springs. The City of Hornell and the ironically-named Village of Weedsport are considering opting out as well.

Significantly, State of Politics notes that if a municipality decides against opting out of allowing retail marijuana establishments, “they may control where cannabis lounges and retail sales operations are located through zoning.”

If your city, town or village has not yet opted out of the marijuana laws, now is the time to act.