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‘No Brainer’: Clymer Opts-Out Of Retail Pot Sales

CLYMER — Opting out of retail marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses was a “no brainer” for town of Clymer officials, Supervisor Travis Heiser said.

A public hearing was held during this week’s Clymer Town Board meeting for the opting out of retail cannabis dispensaries and consumption licenses, with one resident voicing support for the move.

“The board was unanimous in opting out,” Heiser said. “We did, and established a local law for that is based upon the New York state template.”

“The town of Clymer decided to opt out of both retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses,” Heiser continued. “We did this because in our initial discussions at the board level, we all felt the same — the newly New York state legalized marijuana business was not something that we wanted to be a part, for a couple of reasons.”

One reason pertains to issues dealing with New York state bureaucracy.

“I believe we just heard about problems already as the governor did not appoint the Cannabis Control Board, so I’m not sure how this affects the New York state process,” Heiser said.

Quality of life issues, concerns with the potential of more impaired drivers, maintaining the fabric of the small residential town and marijuana being a gateway drug are all reasons Heiser and the town board referred to when deciding to opt-out.

Heiser said the input from one resident at the public hearing also urged the board to opt-out.

“When we had our public hearing we had one resident come to speak about it,” Heiser said. “They urged us to opt-out as well.”

Heiser said he hasn’t heard of any other towns that have decided to opt-out yet.

“Maybe there are some,” he said. “We weren’t in a race with anyone, but it was a no-brainer for us with the board in agreement and the community we are in.”

Municipalities cannot opt-out of adult-use recreational cannabis, but they do have the option to opt-out of retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses from operating within their jurisdiction.

A local law must be passed by Dec. 31 of this year in order to opt-out. The law must abide by the requirements outlined by the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act and be subject to a permissive referendum.

Towns that have passed a local law to opt-out may opt back in by repealing the local law that prohibited retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption licenses.

The Dunkirk Town Board met Tuesday to discuss crafting an opt-out law. After lengthy discussion, officials voted to move forward with opting out and will hold a public hearing Tuesday, July 13, to gauge how the people of Dunkirk feel regarding retail dispensaries and consumption licenses within the town.

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