Hillsdale officials say 'yes' to cannabis sales
Sam Raudins is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media that the Hillsdale Town Board decided November 9, to permit the sale of cannabis in the town. The board held a public hearing on October 4. Approximately 35 people participated and the board then unanimously chose to allow cannabis dispensaries to be established in Hillsdale. The state's deadline for municipalities to opt-out of the legislation is December 31. Hillsdale Town Supervisor Chris Kersten expressed his support for having the town take no action on opting out. “We’ve all had an opportunity to reflect on this issue,” Kersten said. “For myself, I’m in favor of opting in. And it offers, in my opinion, advantages to the town." Town attorney Matt Cabral said he would investigate what actions residents can take if they disagree with the board's decision. “Only because I think that if people disagree with what our decision is tonight, they probably would like to know what they could do to be able to get it on a ballot, so the citizens could vote,” Over three fiscal years, the town of Great Barrington, just over the border in Massachusetts, collected more than $6.7 million in sales tax revenue and community impact fees from cannabis sales. The town of Lee, Massachusetts, had its first cannabis retailer open in 2019, and during its first year of operation, generated more than $494,000 in revenue for the town. The New York legislation, signed into law on March 31, imposes a nine percent state excise tax on sales and a four percent local tax. Counties will receive 25 percent of the local tax revenue and 75 percent will go to the host city, town or village. To opt-out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses, a municipality must pass a local law by December 31. If a municipality does not opt-out by that deadline, it will be unable to do so in the future. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.