×

Lakewood Schedules Pot Opt Out Public Hearing

LAKEWOOD – Following a brief discussion, the Lakewood Village Board has scheduled a public hearing on a local law to opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites in the municipality.

On Monday during the board’s regular monthly meeting, the group scheduled the public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9, at Lakewood Village Hall, located at 20 W. Summit St.

Randy Holcomb, village mayor, said the board had a general discussion on its options during Monday’s meeting, but wanted to wait until after the public hearing to continue discussing their opinions.

“I want it to happen at the public hearing,” he said.

Holcomb said no one at Monday’s meeting from the public discussed the opt out topic. He said, hopefully, village residents will attend the public hearing to express their opinion.

“I feel (the public) will (be in attendance at the public hearing),” he said. “I think it’s such an important topic and at the front of everybody’s mind as they read in The Post-Journal that towns and villages are setting up these meetings. All (municipalities) are doing it. I think it’s on people’s mind and, if they want to be heard, they need to come to the public hearing.”

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.

CLYMER

The town of Clymer has already passed a local law to opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites. Last month, the Clymer Town Board held a public hearing and then unanimously opted out. Clymer town Supervisor Travis Heiser said the decision was a “no-brainer.”

“The town of Clymer decided to opt out of both retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses,” Heiser said. “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.”

DUNKIRK

Earlier this month, the Dunkirk Town Board came to a 2-2 split vote on the opt out option, which means the town will not move forward with the local law. The split vote occurred because Councilman Jay Bishop wasn’t allowed to vote, as he attended the meeting over video conference. New York state recently changed its regulations to not allow members attending meetings over video to vote.

See HEARING,

Page A3

From Page A1

Following the closure of its public hearing, discussion went back to town board members, with the four who were able to vote remaining firm to their stances they took at their June meeting. Town Supervisor Richard Purol and Councilman Juan Pagan both advocated for dispensaries being allowed, while councilmen Bob Penharlow and Henry Waldorff were both locked-in to moving forward with opting out.

CARROLL

Earlier this month, the Carroll Town Board set a public hearing on the opt out option for 6:45 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 11, at the Fireman’s Blue Building, 25 Hazzard St.

During a recent meeting, Kenneth Dahlgren, town councilman, said if the board passes a local law to opt out of allowing dispensaries and consumption locations after the public hearing, residents in the town are allowed to circulate a petition to have a permissive referendum to overturn the decision. He said the board could also request to have a permissive referendum to allow Carroll residents to make the decision. He added that the town should save residents the hassle of collecting signatures and request to have a permissive referendum vote.

“I’m in favor of letting people speak on this,” he said.

ELLICOTT

The Ellicott Town Board will host a public hearing on the opt out option at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, at Ellicott Town Hall, located at 215 S. Work St., Falconer. During its regular meeting earlier this month, Patrick McLaughlin, town supervisor, said if the town passes a local law to opt out it would be for areas of the town outside of the villages of Celoron and Falconer, with both village boards making their own opt out decision.

CASSADAGA

For two straight meetings, members of the Cassadaga Village Board have elected to table the issue of whether they want marijuana dispensaries located within village limits. Despite tabling it, the board did make some progress on making a decision. The board reached a consensus that it would have Cassadaga Village Attorney Joseph Calimeri draft the law to opt out of allowing dispensaries in Cassadaga, which would then be introduced at its next meeting July 28. Should the board approve to move forward with the law, a public hearing would be held before the following meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The reason the board opted to go this route is because they wanted to hold a public hearing on the issue anyway.

FALCONER

Earlier this month, the Falconer Village Board discussed its options regarding the retail selling of marijuana. Mayor Jim Jaroszynski said he plans to reach out to “some of my counterparts” to gather some preliminary information, while Alan Gustafson Jr., a member of the board, suggested the village seek suggestions and input on pot dispensaries from the community.

New York state residents 21 and older are legally able to own and possess marijuana up to 3 ounces in accordance with the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act.

Earlier this month, the Dunkirk Town Board came to a 2-2 split vote on the opt out option, which means the town will not move forward with the local law. The split vote occurred because Councilman Jay Bishop wasn’t allowed to vote, as he attended the meeting over video conference. New York state recently changed its regulations to not allow members attending meetings over video to vote.

Following the closure of its public hearing, discussion went back to town board members, with the four who were able to vote remaining firm to their stances they took at their June meeting. Town Supervisor Richard Purol and Councilman Juan Pagan both advocated for dispensaries being allowed, while councilmen Bob Penharlow and Henry Waldorff were both locked-in to moving forward with opting out.

Newsletter

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.60/week.

Subscribe Today