State hopes for marijuana opt-ins among 650 municipalities

Marijuana plants grown for medical purposes are shown in Vireo Health's Johnstown facility in 2020.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Marijuana plants grown for medical purposes are shown in Vireo Health's Johnstown facility in 2020.

ALBANY — The state cannabis regulatory agency has updated its website, making it easier for municipalities to register changes in their stance on recreational marijuana sales within their borders.

Statewide, about 37% of New York municipalities decided to limit or bar sales by the Dec. 31 deadline, according to the state Office of Cannabis Management. This included only about 11% of the state’s cities. 

With this level of participation, the agency said, marijuana will be widely accessible for sale to adults for recreational use when licensed retailers begin operation. The regulatory framework for these sales is still being formalized.

Municipalities could opt out of the state’s new marijuana marketplace, and ban retail-only dispensaries or on-site consumption or both. Some did so as a precautionary or temporary measure, wanting to see the regulatory framework before making a final decision. Those that did so may opt back in, and notify the agency via the portal.

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“It’s exciting to see some localities already deciding to repeal their opt-out laws to participate more fully in the equitable market that we’re building,” OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander said in a news release Wednesday. “With the opening of today’s portal, we’re making it easier for localities to keep the board updated and as we continue to develop the market, we expect localities will continue to repeal their decisions and allow more, and a wider variety of, adult-use cannabis sales.”

Statewide, 86 municipalities opted not to allow on-site consumption and 564 opted not to allow on-site or retail-only dispensaries sales. 

Here are the local opt-outs as of Wednesday:

ALBANY COUNTY

Coeymans, town of Colonie, Menands — on-site; Altamont, Bethlehem, village of Green Island, Guilderland, town of Rensselaerville, Voorheesville, Westerlo — on-site and retail.

FULTON COUNTY

Village of Broadalbin — on-site; town of Bleecker, village of Dolgeville — on-site and retail.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Town of Amsterdam, on-site; village of Fort Plain, village of Fultonville, Glen — on-site and retail.

SARATOGA COUNTY

Ballston, Halfmoon, Mechanicville, Milton, town of Saratoga, village of Stillwater and town of Waterford — on-site; Charlton, Clifton Park, Edinburg, town of Galway, Malta, Moreau, Northumberland, Providence, Victory, village of Waterford, Wilton — on-site and retail.

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SCHENECTADY COUNTY

Niskayuna and Princetown — on-site and retail.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

Village of Cobleskill — on-site; Fulton, Jefferson, town of Richmondville, village of Richmondville, Sharon, Summit — on-site and retail.

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