NY cities, towns, and villages can opt-out of marijuana retail if legislation passes

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State tax collection on adult use recreational marijuana could reach $350 million dollars per year, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office. When it comes to sales tax on marijuana, 9 percent of the money would be going to the state, while 4 percent would be going to local governments if the legislation is passed.

Local governments can opt out of having retail dispensaries in their area; however, they will not receive tax revenue from it if they choose to do so.

According to New York State’s adult-use recreational marijuana legislation, cities, towns, and villages have the option to opt-out of having retail dispensaries. If that’s what is chosen, they have until December 31 to pass a local law. However, the people who live there can have a say in the matter.

“The residents of the municipality, if they so desire, can put together a petition, and if they have enough signatures of the electors of the municipality, it then forces a referendum on the local law themselves,” explained Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director.

Even if the city or town decides to opt-in, they can still set some rules for dispensaries.

“If a local government does not opt-out, they do under the provisions of the legislation have the ability to impose what are called time, place and manner restrictions— reasonable restrictions, so they will have some level of control,” said Baynes.

According to the state, the Office of Cannabis Management will be established for licensing, but it’s going to take time.

“We don’t know what the regulations are going to be, yet,” explained Assemblyman Robert Smullen. “Dispensaries are not going to open until the end of 2022.”

While some Capital Region municipalities are still waiting to make a decision on marijuana retail, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said her city is planning to opt-in.

“Now it looks like it will get to the finish line,” stated Sheehan. “We will be looking to then start the work of identifying where in the city of Albany, who in the City of Albany, and how the City of Albany is going to proceed.”

Whether or not to opt-out of allowing retail is something that many local governments will be determining over the next couple months if legislation is passed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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