BALLSTON SPA – It looks like the Village of Friends may be friendly to marijuana sales.
The mayor of the village of Ballston Spa said he and other elected officials are open to allowing cannabis dispensaries, a move that will give the village’s 1.7 square miles yet another economic boost.
“It would benefit us financially,” Mayor Larry Woolbright said. “I asked our treasurer if she could do a quick back of the envelope calculation. Her guess was we would get $30,000 a year.”
Woolbright said that is about 2 percent of the village’s tax levy of $1.7 million.
Under state law, municipalities that don’t want marijuana dispensaries or on-site consumption must formally opt out by passing a local law by Dec. 31. Both Colonie and Ballston, in which the southern end of the village falls, are considering opting out of on-site consumption or lounges. If the local law in Ballston passes, which it may on Sept. 14, Woolbright said that does not preclude village sales. It also means, he said, that Ballston is not entitled to any of the marijuana-related revenue. All of the sales tax dollars generated will go to the village.
“We still have time and the (board of) trustees could still bring it up,” said Woolbright. “But we discussed it once and there was no interest in opting out.”
The majority of the village actually falls into Milton, with the dividing line, appropriately, being High Street. On Friday, Milton Supervisor Benny Zlotnick said the town has not discussed opting out, but he is leaning toward allowing cannabis sales.
“If there is a tax benefit, we should look at those avenues,” Zlotnick said.
That means Ballston Spa would have to share its portion of the sales tax revenue