CATSKILL — With a Dec. 31 deadline looming for municipalities to decide if they wish to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries or on-site cannabis consumption lounges in their communities, the Town of Catskill is soliciting public opinion on the issue before a decision is rendered.
The Catskill Town Board is holding a special public forum on the future of cannabis establishments in the town on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Robert C. Antonelli Senior Center in Catskill.
“It’s going to be a public forum where we want to get the feelings of the community,” Catskill Town Supervisor Dale Finch said. “We want to see whether they’re for or against having dispensaries. The other part of the equation is whether or not they want to allow what you could call lounges in the community. So there’s two options under the cannabis law. You can opt out of both of them or one or the other.”
When New York legalized adult-use marijuana on March 31, a new Office of Cannabis Management was created which will issue licenses for dispensaries and lounges in municipalities that do not opt out by passing a local law by Dec. 31.
Possession and use of marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and over in the state and municipalities are not allowed to opt out of that portion of the legislation.
Finch said there could be an advantage to opting out of dispensaries or lounges or both before the end of the year, as the town could always opt back in later if it so chooses.
“If you don’t opt out then you’re definitely in, and I think the upside of this is if you do opt out now on certain items you can always opt back in at a later date,” he noted. “It’s only a one-way street