Which Capital Region Cities Are Saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to Marijuana?
When marijuana was legalized for adult use in New York in the spring of 2020 there were a lot of unknowns.
One thing that was unknown was if your local town was going to allow marijuana dispensaries to set up shop within their borders and if they would allow places to consume cannabis products within their town.
One of the latest cities that has voted to allow both dispensaries and consumption sites is Saratoga Springs. Colonie just recently voted to opt out on both dispensaries and consumptions sites within the town limits. According to the article at Spectrum News, the main reason they decided to say vote no was because of the lack of a reliable test to determine how impaired someone is with they are under the influence of cannabis. Basically, determining if someone is too high to drive.
Local government officials have until Dec. 31 to decide if they want consumption sites or recreational marijuana retail stores within their town limits. Here's the interesting part about that decision. If the local governments don't opt-out, they are stuck and they can't ever opt-out again. However, if they do opt-out, down the road when they realize what they are missing out on they can opt back in for recreational dispensaries and recreational consumption sites. At stake is the estimated $350 million in sales tax revenue that is expected to be generated in New York. Marijuana sales would have a 13% tax, with a 9% going directly to the state. The remaining 4% would be divided between the county and local governments.
Schenectady is the latest city to mull over the decision to allow cannabis sales and consumption sites. According to The Daily Gazette, the city council will take up the discussion during a meeting of the Government Operation Committee before the December 31st deadline.
No matter which way New York towns decide to vote recreational cannabis products are legal to possess and consume for New Yorkers over the age of 21.
If you'd like to see if your town has opted in or out check out this Opt-Out Tracker from the Rockafeller Institute of Government