Keene opts out of marijuana dispensaries, on-site consumption licenses | News, Sports, Jobs – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise   Recently updated !


KEENE — The Keene Town Board voted unanimously to opt out of licensing marijuana on-site consumption establishments, popularly known as pot bars, at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Voting were Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson and town councilors Jennifer Whitney, Teresa Cheeham-Palen, Bob Biesemeyer and David Deyo.

When it came to opting out of licensing retail marijuana dispensaries, however, there was a split vote of 3 to 2, with Cheetham-Palen and Wilson voting to opt in.

The next step is to draft a local law, which Wilson will do; hold a public hearing on the law, which will be at the Oct. 26 meeting; and pass the law by the end of the year 2021 at a date to be determined.

Referring to the New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, Biesemeyer explained, “My number one reason for opting out is that according to the state law, once you opt in, it’s a done deal. You can never opt out again.” He prefers a wait-and-see approach.

If the board did nothing before the end of the year, the town would by default allow the licensing of retail cannabis establishments, which would be impossible to reverse in future. By opting out now, the town could eventually reverse the law and allow licensing at a future date.

A retail dispensary-licensed business functions in a similar way to a liquor store. Products would not be consumed on the premises, but would be purchased to take away.

An on-site consumption business would allow customers to purchase and consume cannabis products in a social atmosphere on the premises, but not to take out, the same way they might purchase and drink alcohol in a bar.

Board members Whitney and Cheetham-Palen said that

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