ALBANY. N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cities, villages, and towns can now opt-out of marijuana licensing dispensaries within their local communities by sending requests through a web-based portal designed by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). Communities seeking to opt-out of hosting marijuana retail dispensaries, or on-site marijuana consumption licensees, can send requests to the state Cannabis Control Board.

The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act enacted in March allows municipalities this option until December 31. The portal assists communities in making requests, to pass a local law in recognition of those localities’ decisions in opting out.

“This web portal will enable localities to file their local law opt-out requests and ensure that the Cannabis Control Board has this key information,” said Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright. “I encourage localities requesting to opt-out of hosting dispensary and on-site consumption licensees to file their requests promptly so we can build an accessible, safe, and equitable industry in New York.

OCM says that although opting out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses within their jurisdictions is an option. Localities that opt-out by Dec. 31, can always opt back in. Municipalities cannot stop legal adults from smoking marijuana in their communities.

After the deadline, OCM says it will compile the information provided and make it public for dispensaries and consumption licensees seeking a license in a location in which they can operate.