Copake restricts locations of cannabis dispensaries
Diane Valden reports in the Columbia Paper that officials in Copake amended the Copake Zoning Code on Nov. 10 to regulate “the time, place and manner of the operation of licensed adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries.” Copake officials previously voted to allow retail cannabis sales in the Columbia County town. Councilmember Stanley “Stosh” Gansowski said cannabis sales should be in agricultural districts. “I believe they should be on working farms.... Bringing in places to sell [cannabis] will change the character of the town,” he said, adding that only one dairy farm remains in Copake and there were six when he took office several years ago. “Let the farms be able to support themselves.” Empire and Langdon farms in Copake grow cannabis. But Ken Down, attorney for the town’s Planning and Zoning boards, said according to town code “you can’t do retail in an RU (Agricultural and Rural Residential) district,” and that state law prohibits farms from retail sales. “You cannot raise and sell on the same property,” Dow said. Instead, councilmembers voted 4-0, with Gansowski abstaining, to restrict cannabis sales to these locations:
• Hamlet Business (HB) located in Craryville around the County Route 7, Craryville Road, Route 23 intersection, and a section of Route 23, east and west of the intersection; West Copake around the county routes 7 and 7A triangle area; Copake, along Main and Church streets and in Copake Falls along a section of State Route 344.
• Highway Business (HW-B) located on County Route 7A, north and south of the Copake hamlet; sections of Route 22 from the Copake Veterinary Hospital to Route 344 and further north from approximately Yonderview Road north to the old Roe Jan School.
• Mixed Use (MU) located in the vicinity of the Roe Jan Library and in the area of Catamount on Route 23.
Cannabis sales are expected to begin in New York before the end of the year, and there are currently no applications for dispensaries before the Copake Planning Board, although there were some earlier inquiries. Read more about this story in the Columbia Paper.