October 19, 2021

C’ville to hold hearing on pot dispensaries

Stock Image of Marijuana

Cortlandville residents will be able to share their opinions during a public hearing later this month on a proposed local law that would prohibit the establishment of marijuana dispensaries within the town.

The hearing will be held at the July 21 Town Board meeting, according to Town Clerk Kristin Rocco-Petrella.

Under the law, the town would opt out of allowing marijuana retail dispensaries and on-site consumption, according to the law.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in March for adults age 21 or older in New York state, but communities were given the option of opting out of allowing sales. Limited marijuana plant growth was legalized as well, though not until at least 18 months after the first legal marijuana sale in the state.

The hearing was set during Wednesday’s Town Board meeting.

Town Attorney John DelVecchio explained during the meeting that the town could either opt in, or allow for marijuana dispensaries in the town, or opt out. If the board voted to opt out, it could change and vote to opt in at a later date.

If the board took no action, marijuana dispensaries would automatically be allowed to be created. Additionally, the town could not choose to opt out if it had already opted in, DelVecchio said.

The town needs to have a local law in place by Dec. 31 if it wants to prohibit marijuana dispensaries within the town.

“Logistically, in my opinion, it makes sense to me to move (the local law) forward to present options to you,” DelVecchio said. “You can obviously move it forward to have a public hearing, see what the public has (to say) and then decide whether or not to adopt the local law.”

DelVecchio also said that if the process for adopting the local law wasn’t started soon, the board wouldn’t have a chance to adopt it by year’s end.

“I say we move it forward,” said Councilperson Douglas Withey. “If we don’t, then we’re automatically going to opt in.”

The board then voted to hold a public hearing, which was to be scheduled after the meeting.