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Busti Board Opts Out Of Pot Dispensaries, Consumption Sites

By unanimous vote, the Busti Town Board has opted out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites in the town.

Todd Hanson, Busti Town Board member, said the local law to opt out was passed after a public hearing was held Monday. He said about a dozen people spoke to the board about the proposed law and they were all against allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites in the town.

“About 12 people spoke out in favor of passing a local law to prohibit sales and onsite dispensaries,” he said.

Hanson said the local law will be for the section of the town outside of the village of Lakewood. He said the Lakewood Village Board will make its own decision on the opt out law. The village will be hosting a public hearing at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, at the Lakewood Village Hall, located at 20 W. Summit St., on the possibility of passing its own opt out law.

Hanson said the Busti Town Board discussion on the local law included the fact that if they were going to opt out, they had to by the end of the year. He said in future years, if the town decides to opt in they can reverse the local law passed Monday.

“After (the end of the year) we wouldn’t be able to (opt out),” Hanson said about the opt out option. “We believe at this point it’s in the town’s best interest to pass the law.”

Hanson said board members gathered input from other municipalities and its police chief, Christopher DePonceau, before passing the local law.

“All the people I’ve talked to specifically and anyone who has talked to other people have given me the same input that they don’t want dispensaries in the town,” he said. “Again, we could only opt out this year. We can opt back in at a later date. At this point, all of us believe that even with the small taxable income, it’s best to not have it in the town.”

Now that the board has approved a local law to opt out of marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites, residents are allowed to circulate a petition to possibly hold a permissive referendum to overturn the local law.

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