GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the new year, recreational marijuana will soon be available across the state. With 900 dispensaries expected to open, there is a concern about the greater acceptance of use in public. Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik says that some people forget they are actually using a mind-altering substance.

“I think what happened is that a lot of people took the news that the possession of marijuana was going to be decriminalized by a certain amount and that it was now okay to use marijuana wherever they are, whether that is out in a public parking lot, whether that’s out in their vehicle, whether that’s walking up and down a public street,” he said.

In the past year, the Glenville Police Department has been raising awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence, whether it’s alcohol, marijuana, or any substance that can cause impairment.

“We have a responsibility as a police agency to make sure that motorists who are traveling up and down the highways- within our town are traveling in a safe manner,” he said.

Lyla Hunt is the Deputy Director of Public Health and Campaigns for the Office of Cannabis Management. She says the agency has also been trying to share awareness about best practices.

“Cannabis is legal now, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal for everyone, and it doesn’t mean it’s legal everywhere,” she said.

Another concern is potential access to children. But the agency says that every New York dispensary will provide child-proof product packaging. But it will still be up to parents to store them properly.

“And there are some important components that we all need to know and be aware of to be safe in a post-legalized environment,” Hunt said. “Cannabis products have to be locked up and stored properly out of sight, out of reach of children and pets, and it’s really important to keep them in their original product packages.”

Glenville Police also want to remind parents to take storage seriously. Otherwise, it can lead to child endangerment along with a Class A misdemeanor which can result in imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

“If you’re gonna store that, you better keep it in a place like you would with a prescription,” Chief Janik said. “I just want to make sure that anyone who chooses to use recreational cannabis… can do so responsibly.”