It’s an indisputable fact that our neighboring towns took responsible action regarding the retail sale and public consumption of recreational marijuana.
The elected leaders of Wawarsing, Marbletown, Esopus, Saugerties, Rhinebeck and Red Hook have shown respect for their constituents. They scheduled public hearings and/or community information sessions. After listening to people’s concerns a few towns already opted out of dealing with marijuana retail sale and public consumption.
Why is Town of Rochester different? For starters, all Town Board members are Democrats (yes, Councilman Paddock, all). They couldn’t care less about what people think.
According to Supervisor Baden, the cannabis issue was “discussed” by the Town Board at the June 3, 2021 meeting. Let’s see what the minutes show:
Attorney Christiana: Things that towns can “opt out” of are: dispensaries within your town, on-site consumption rooms within the town. If you decide to “opt out,” you must have a law in place by December 31, 2021. That law is subject to a Permissive Referendum. If you have a Permissive Referendum and you don’t do it until later in the year, then you’ll be paying the cost of that Permissive Referendum balloting.
If you want to “opt out” and get the Permissive Referendum should someone asks for one,
it is a 45-day period, instead of usual 30-day period. You only have until July 19th to have the law in place.
At these dispensaries and on-site consumption rooms, there is a 13% tax = 9% New York State, 1% County, 3% Town. Just do nothing if you don’t want to opt out. You can do some zoning, but you must make sure you don’t zone so far that you are kind of outlawing it. Might be subject to site plan.
Supervisor Baden asked if anyone on the town board wants to discuss. No response.
Hearing silence looks like we will not “opt out.”
So much for Supervisor Baden’s “discussion.”
Town Attorney Marylou Christiana’s summarizing the legislation (S.854-A/A.1248-A)
legalizing adult-use of cannabis in New York State does not amount to a discussion.
The silence of the Town Board members does not amount to a discussion.
Asleep at the wheel:
In their defense, it was already 9:35 in the evening.
Wawarsing and Esopus have scheduled Public Hearings on December 2. Just saying…