Volney Resists Allowing Marijuana Businesses | Messages
VOLNEY – Volney City Council unanimously voted for a local law Thursday that would cause the community to ban cannabis dispensaries and adult consumption lounges within city limits.
At the city council meeting on Thursday, officials said they would like to await the implementation of the New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which allows licensing of pharmacies and consumer businesses to be issued locally.
“Part of it is that the law is so new,” City Mayor Gregory Hartranft told the Palladium-Times after the meeting, which included a public hearing that did not allow any input from the community. “The bill contains all sorts of provisions. We just had the feeling that we didn’t want to support it at this point. “
Communities like Volney have until December 31st to decline approval of these companies within their borders. Currently, more than 400 locations in New York have opted out of being granted these licenses, according to an opt-out tracker compiled by SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government. Locals interested in opting out are requested to file this decision with the New York Secretary of State’s office, as per a provision in the MRTA.
The Bill – which introduced a system for the state and municipalities to regulate the manufacture of cannabis products, determine ways of taxing sales and production, and the commercial sales of recreational marijuana by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) and the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) – was signed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in March.
“Communities cannot generally ban the legalization of marijuana; Residents can still own and consume within the community, ”according to a policy analysis by Heather Trela, Director of Operations at SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute. “The ban is limited to the two types of retail business and does not apply to cultivation or manufacturing operations.”
Tax revenue could act as an incentive for undecided places.
“The communities that choose to opt out are not entitled to any income from the sale of adult marijuana,” says Trela. “MRTA levies a 13 percent tax on adult sales of marijuana, of which 4 percent is shared between the county (25 percent of the 4 percent) and the municipalities (75 percent of that 4 percent).”
For Hartranft it was a reason to be careful not to be able to get out beyond the deadline of December 31st.
“We understand that there is sales tax and there can be a loss of income,” he said. “We want to be careful. We didn’t want to go in and not be able to get out again. “
Hartranft pointed out that the city may want to get back on track next year.
“When people are this close to the town of Fulton, they can go to Fulton if they need a pharmacy,” he said. “Realistically, we have few stores in our city that would try to sell marijuana products. We are a small town that stays on the edge and sees how things develop. “
There is currently an online opt-out portal that community leaders can visit to go through the process.
“This web portal will enable communities to submit their de-registration requests under local law and ensure that the Cannabis Control Board has this important information when we review license applications and the settlement of cannabis companies,” said Tremaine Wright, Chair of the New York State CCB in a statement. “I encourage communities that apply to host pharmacies and licensees for local consumption to submit their applications immediately so we can build an accessible, safe, and equitable industry in New York.”
OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander said the opt-out would allow residents to be heard at the state level.
“Ultimately, understanding these decisions is critical for those applying for a license to understand where opportunities are and for the (CCB) to understand the original geographic picture of participation. We look forward to further cooperation with our local partners as we work together to build a fair market, ”said Alexander.
Other Oswego County communities that have chosen to opt out of these MRTA regulations include Mexico City and Village, Orwell City, and Constantia City.