ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) —Municipalities across the state have until December 31st to either opt-in or opt-out of allowing marijuana-related businesses in their communities. But on Wednesday night, the Rotterdam Town Council voted to opt-in so the town could take advantage of the possible tax revenue benefits.
Some residents, like Melvin Mintz, are concerned because he believes that residents should have been more involved with the decision by including the matter on the ballot.
“Let the people decide,” he said. “But give them all sides of what it is and how it affects people to tell you more about it.”
Those who favored opting-in reminded the council that accessibility would play a role.
“We need dispensaries here in Rotterdam,” one resident said during the public hearing. “I’m not saying to put it where the kids are but don’t put it so far away from people who want it…whether it’s recreational or (sorry, I told you the last time I use it for medical reasons)…need to get it.”
Councilman Evan Christou mentioned before the vote that the town plans to have a commission to help monitor the application, zoning, and approval process for dispensary locations.
“Again…these are works of progress…,” he said. “And if we discover something, we can go back to the drawing board and make sure that we are doing as much as we are doing the best we can for our residents.”
Neighboring municipalities like Glenville and Niskayuna have opted out of marijuana sales. Once dispensaries open in Rotterdam, the businesses will be allowed to operate from 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sundays.