Database tracks towns where cannabis sales are allowed or barred
Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union about a new database from SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government tracking which New York municipalities have opted out of allowing cannabis sales and/or consumption lounges. New York legalized cannabis in April, and is currently working on regulations for sales to begin. Towns and villages have until Dec. 31 to bar sales or bars where consumption would be allowed. So far, about 15 percent 15 percent have filed local laws to opt out of both retail sales and on-site consumption businesses. “A big theme I saw was they just said, ‘We can’t opt into an unknown’,” SUNY researcher Heather Trela about the new database. The database shows that in Greene County, Windham and Jewett have both barred sales and consumption sites, while New Baltimore holds a public hearing Dec. 13 on the issue. In Columbia County, The village of Chatham has opted out of both, while Austerlitz, Germantown, New Lebanon, and Taghkanic will allow both types of businesses. Copake will allow sales, and will hold a public hearing on lounges Dec. 9. Ancram will allow sales, but not lounges. Trela said she is noticing neighboring towns following the lead of other nearby towns. “It was motivating in two ways: sometimes it was, ‘We don’t want to go against the grain. If everyone else is opting out, we don’t want to be the outlier,’” Trela said. “And in other communities, it was like ‘We do want to be the outlier, because there’s going to be demand.’” Read more about this story in the Times Union.