LYME — Voters will have the opportunity on Nov. 2 to decide whether marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites can come to town.
When the New York State Legislature passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act in March, it included a stipulation that towns and villages can choose whether to allow dispensaries to sell marijuana, or “pot lounges” to sell and allow patrons to consume marijuana on site, within their borders.
Lyme Town Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine said the Town Council members didn’t feel they had a mandate to decide on the issue themselves, so they decided to ask the residents.
“I think our board felt it was too big a decision for the board itself to make,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that are for marijuana, a lot of people are against it, so we figured we’d let the people decide.”
Voters registered in the town of Lyme will see a proposition on their general election ballot this November, asking if the town should opt out of licensing or establishing cannabis dispensaries or on-site consumption sites. A “yes” vote means no dispensaries or consumption sites should be allowed, and a “no” vote means they would be permitted.
The state’s law does allow town and village leaders to ban dispensaries without a vote, stipulating that residents may, if they choose to, force a referendum vote by turning in a petition asking for a vote. The results of that vote would determine if the town follows through with the dispensary ban or not.
Mr. Aubertine said the town was approached by the Jefferson County Board of Elections, which offered to include the ballot measure at no cost to the town.
“If we were to do a special referendum, that would have cost the town,” he said. “We just took advantage of the election board’s offer to