On March 31, New York State Governor signed the Marihuana Regulation & Tax Act (MRTA) legalizing the adult-use (21+) cannabis in New York State. While there are currently no stores open to purchase adult-use cannabis, the possession and use of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older in accordance with the MRTA, is now legal. Cities, towns, and villages can opt-out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses from locating within their jurisdictions; however, municipalities cannot opt-out of adult-use legalization. If the municipalities wish to enact a local opt-opt law for marijuana retailers or consumption sites they must do so by December 31, 2021. If a municipality does not opt-out by December 31, 2021, the municipality will be unable to opt-out at a future date. However, at any time a municipality may opt back in, to allow adult-use retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption licenses, by repealing the local law which established the prohibition.
Studies have shown that 80% of California, 64% of Colorado, 79% of Michigan, and 60% of Oregon municipalities opted out of allowing marijuana sales.
Due to the short period that municipalities have to decide if they want to opt-out local agencies in Allegany County, including the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA), the Allegany County Department of Health, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC) have sent a letter, resources, and a model policy to all the towns and villages in Allegany County. Be on the lookout for when your town or village holds discussions on this topic to share your thoughts for what you would like to see in your community.