Some CNY voters will have the final say on retail marijuana sales this election

Local News

TOWN OF CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – To sell or opt out of marijuana sales: that’s the choice some municipalities are giving voters this election.

Under New York State’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), local towns and villages have the opportunity to opt out of allowing retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses, such as cannabis lounges, to operate within their jurisdiction.

In order to opt out, towns and villages must adopt a local law by December 31, 2021. Municipalities will then apply for a “permissive referendum” which requests the state’s Cannabis Control Board prohibits retail dispensaries and on-site consumption within the municipality.

In Onondaga County, the four town and villages to have the marijuana proposition on the ballot are…

  • Town of Camillus
  • Village of Camillus
  • Town of Geddes
  • Village of Tully

Cortland County has two municipalities with the referendum on the ballot:

  • Town of Homer
  • Village of McGraw

Mary Ann Coogan, Town of Camillus Supervisor, explained to NewsChannel 9 why the board wanted to give the people a say on whether or not to sell marijuana or opt out.

“It’s a huge deal. It’s a big change in thought for a lot of reasons to a lot of people. So, I hope people vote and vote the way they truly believe. That’s why it’s on the ballot.”

Mary ann coogan, town of camillus supervisor

After a public hearing on July 27, Coogan and the rest of the town board voted to opt out of marijuana sales and put the mandatory referendum on the 2021 election ballot.

“For the Camillus town board, it will be that the people decided, not 7 people,” Coogan explained. “The people decided what they wanted and that’s what it should be.”

Now, that final decision is up to you as you head to the polls and cast your ballot.

The proposition on the Town of Camillus ballot reads as the following:

If voters in their respective municipality choose to opt out, the town will need to formally submit a request for a permissive referendum by the end of the year.

However, if voters choose to sell marijuana in their community, the municipality has the flexibility to add and revise the state’s current laws to better suit the needs of their community.

Cayuga, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Seneca, Tompkins and Wayne counties do not have marijuana propositions on the ballot this year.

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