Deadline approaching for towns to opt-out of marijuana retail

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BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In New York State, a municipality must pass a local law by December 31 to opt-out of marijuana retail and/or on-site consumption licenses. If they don’t, they will be unable to do so in the future.

“We are looking to our residents and our business owners to give us their views on this issue,” said David VanLuven, Bethlehem Town Supervisor. “We really want to hear what people have to say. We have a public hearing scheduled on Tuesday, November 23 at town hall at 6 pm.”

The town supervisor said two different laws have already been drafted.

“One is to opt-out just from on-site consumption,” explained VanLuven. “The other is to opt-out of both of them.”

After the Bethlehem public hearing, a vote will be held two weeks later.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management announced Wednesday an online portal is available for municipalities to quickly send their request to the cannabis control board. Bethlehem and other municipalities will be using it to submit their decisions.

The Town of Milton also held a public hearing Wednesday on opting-out of on-site consumption. While some who live there are in favor of it, others think it will be better for business if on-site use is offered.

The Milton vote will be taking place in two weeks. It’s also important to note that municipalities that choose to opt-out, can always opt-back in if they wish to do so. 

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