Schenectady – City Council is set to discuss keeping marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities out of the Electric City on Monday.
Under the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which was approved by state lawmakers earlier this year, local municipalities have to opt out of allowing dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities to open within their borders. It has until December 31 to pass a local law.
The Council will discuss during the meeting of the Government Steering Committee.
Municipalities that opt-out have the option to opt-in back at a later date. But those who opt-in cannot choose to opt-out in the future.
Regardless of the final decision, adults 21 and older will be allowed to consume cannabis wherever cigarettes can be consumed except while driving. The law allows adults 21 and older to have 3 ounces of cannabis flowers.
With an estimated $350 million in sales tax revenue at stake, cannabis sales in New York State are expected to generate. Local governments that opt-out of allowing dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities will not receive any tax revenue related to the sale.
Under the law, marijuana sales would be taxed at 13%, with 9% going directly to the state. The remaining 4% would be divided between county and local governments, 25% would go directly to the county and 75% would be divided between local governments based on the proportionality of sales.
Council has discussed little about a possible exit from allowing facilities to open up to this point, although Mayor Gary McCarthy said earlier this year there were no plans to do so.
A growing number of local governments have opted out of the law, citing concerns about future regulations, which are not expected to be released until sometime next year.
Glenville and Niscauna have all opted-out in Schenectady County, and Clifton Park may join a growing number of municipalities in Saratoga County that have opted out, including the City of Ballston and the City of Mechanicville.
Local governments that do not take action are automatically elected under the law.
The council is also planning to discuss the seating of the two vacant council seats which have been lying vacant for almost a year. Ed Kosiur and Lisa Perazzo.
Voters chose Democrats Carl Williams and Doreen DeToro to fill unexpired terms during November’s election, but seats remain vacant for validation of the election held at the end of last month.
DeToro received 3,075 votes while Williams received 2,735, or 23% and 20% of the total vote, respectively.
Contact correspondent Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County