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Busti Pot Opt Out Public Hearing Scheduled

LAKEWOOD – The Busti Town Board will be hosting a public hearing on a local law to opt out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites in the municipality.

Jesse Robbins, town supervisor, said the public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday at the Busti Town Hall, located at 125 Chautauqua Ave., Lakewood. Robbins said the board has had discussions on the issue, but no decision has been made yet. Even though the board will be able to vote on the local law to opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites in the town after the public hearing, Robbins doesn’t know if a decision will be made Monday.

“I don’t have any idea what we’re going to do yet,” he said. “It’s a topic we’re going to discuss, but I don’t know what the board is going to decide.”

Robbins said he has heard from one person who says “yes” that the town should opt out and he has also heard from one person who said “no.”

“One person said, ‘We’ve been fighting for years to stop dope so why start selling it?'” he said.

The board has had discussions on marijuana in recent months. During a May board meeting, Randy Holcomb, Lakewood mayor, attended to discuss recreational marijuana. Holcomb discussed the legalities on how a city, town or village could possibly opt out of the cannabis retail within their jurisdiction.

The Lakewood Village Board has scheduled a public hearing on a local law to possibly opt out for 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, at Lakewood Village Hall, located at 20 W. Summit St.

If the Busti Town Board chooses to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites it would be for only areas of the town outside of the village of Lakewood.

If the board does approve a local law to opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption locations, residents are allowed to circulate a petition to possibly hold a permissive referendum to overturn the local law.

Also, if the board opts out before the end of the year, they are allowed to change the local law to allow dispensaries and consumption sites in futures years. However, if they don’t opt out by the end of the year, the option to not allow dispensaries and consumption sites would no longer be available.

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