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Cairo officials may leave the decision on cannabis businesses to the voters

Mar 22, 2022 1:00 am

Valerie White is reporting for Porcupine Soup that the Cairo Town Board on March 16 once again focused its attention on allowing recreational cannabis dispensaries and consumption lounges in the town. New York legalized recreational cannabis in March 2021, and municipalities had until December 31 of that year, to opt-out of allowing the businesses within their borders. Under the rules, localities that did not opt out were permitted to opt back in at a later date. On December 16, the Cairo board voted 3 to 2 to opt-out. The vote followed a standing-room only public hearing where the vast majority of residents in attendance wanted the town to opt in. Last week, Cairo Supervisor Jason Watts brought up the subject again, saying he wanted to schedule another public hearing to consider opting back in, but comments from the floor that night were opposed to the idea. “This needs to go to a referendum,” said board member Tim Powers, who voted against cannabis sales in December. “Every person who is of voting age in this town should have a say in it… I’m not going to make a decision for 6,700 people and I don’t think you should either.” Watts said he had "no problem putting it on the ballot.” Cannabis sales are not expected to begin in New York until 2023. When sales begin in Greene County, the Catskill Town Board has agreed to allow dispensaries, but not on-site consumption lounges. The village of Catskill will allow both types of businesses, as will the towns of Coxsackie and Athens. Read the full story at porcupinesoup [dot] com.