Town, village of Chatham weighing opting out of cannabis sales
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the town and village of Chatham are each weighing the possibility of opting out of cannabis sales, at least for the time being. The village will hold a public hearing November 8, to discuss the village opting out of a retail dispensary and on-site consumption of cannabis to give the village board time to review the question. The town will hold a public hearing Nov. 18 to discuss passing a local law for the town to opt out of allowing on-site cannabis consumption sites, only. “By us opting out — our early call if you will — the board desires to spend a little more time researching what might be a good fit for the village,” village Mayor John Howe said. “And it gives us the option to opt back in which we may very well do early next year.” Under state law if a municipality does not opt out of the law by the end of this year, it is automatically opted in, and does not have the opportunity to opt out after, Howe said. If officials are told at the hearing that residents want the village to go in a different direction, the mayor said, the board will take that under advisement. “I don’t think anybody from the board at this point is opposed to recreational marijuana the way it’s written,” Howe said. The town of Chatham is also in the process of considering legislation related to cannabis sales. Unlike the village, the town is considering opting out of allowing the consumption sites but not the retail dispensaries. “I personally would allow consumption sites, I don’t think it’s any different than a tasting room at a distillery,” Chatham Town Supervisor Donal Collins said at the town board meeting last week. The town sent a draft copy of its proposed local law to the Columbia County Planning Board for review. “What we did, we would allow the dispensaries and I imagine we’ll look to our zoning law for now to address that,” Collins said. New York enacted the state cannabis law in March 2021. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.