Cairo opts out of cannabis
Andrea Macko at Porcupine Soup writes that the Tow of Cairo board voted Dec. 15 not to allow cannabis sales or lounges. The vote was 3-2, with outgoing Supervisor John Coyne, and Councilpersons Tim Powers and Mary-Jo Cords voting against cannabis sales, and Councilperson Stephen Kralovich and Supervisor-elect Jason Watts voting to allow sales. A standing-room-only crowd wanted a different decision. “You are our elected officials. You were elected by the people. The people sitting in this room now are clearly telling you they don’t want to opt-out,” said resident Barbara Spohler. “As our elected officials you need to strongly consider what the people in this room who elected you are saying.” Many residents were mad about the tax dollars Cairo was turning away. “Great Barrington within three years I believe they brought in about six million dollars,” said Sherry B. True, county legislator-elect. “The town ended up with like a million bucks.” New York legalized cannabis in April, and towns and villages have until Dec. 31 to opt out of retail sales and/or consumption lounges. Retail sales are not expected to begin until 2023 as regulations are put in place. Coyne said he voted against because all those regulations are not yet set up, while Watt claimed he was listening to the crowd. “Ninety-five percent said they were for it, or they didn’t have an opinion,” Watts said. “I’m just afraid if we opt-out businesses are going to skip right over us.” Read more about this story at Porcupine Soup.