Will Albany opt in or out of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries?

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With the December 31 deadline approaching for municipalities to opt-out of marijuana sales and consumption, the city of Albany is deciding to simply roll with the program rather than take an official stance.

Common Council member Owusu Anane says, as far as Albany is concerned, the majority of the city council is in support without supporting an official decision. “There was a council member that was interested in the council opting out,” Anane says, “there were a few discussions about it. And an overwhelming number of council members agree it would be silly for us to opt-out looking at our tax base and how low our tax base is.” 

If most of the city council members support opting-in with the state’s program, why has Albany not taken an official stance? Councilmember Anane says it mostly has to do with the uncertainty surrounding the Office of Cannabis Management’s rules and regulations.

“Many of my council colleagues want to speak to advocates. They want to speak to people from the industry and their companies. And over the past couple of months there have been workshops and events that have taken place so people are learning a little bit more about this industry and the benefits of having a retail establishment that sells marijuana,” the councilmember explains.

Albany joins Troy in its decision to automatically opt into marijuana sales once the calendar rolls over. In a statement, the city of Troy says it “does not intend to opt-out of commercial sale and consumption of cannabis. Troy’s zoning laws are being revised, and provisions have been made for cannabis sales.”

Earlier this week, the Schenectady city council decided that they will opt-out of marijuana sales and on site consumption for now.

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