Albion village votes to allow marijuana dispensaries

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 October 2021 at 8:20 pm

ALBION – The Village Board this evening voted to opt in and allow legal marijuana dispensaries.

The board’s decision comes two days after Medina also agreed to not opt out of the dispensaries. Many of the other municipalities in Orleans County are against the dispensaries.

Albion officials said allowing the marijuana sites will make it easier for local residents to get the product in town, instead of driving to other communities and possibly putting others at risk on the roadways.

“It will be safer for residents if it’s closer to home and they don’t have any drive time,” said Village Trustee Stan Farone. “Safety is the most important reason.”

He also cited the potential tax benefits for the village. The state will have a 13-cent excise tax per $1 on the marijuana sales, and the village will gets 3 of those cents per dollar.

Trustee Chris Barry cast the lone no vote for opting in. He said he didn’t want to make it easier for people to have access to marijuana and encourage its use.

Albion Mayor Eileen Banker and trustees Gary Katsanis and Zack Burgess joined Farone in opting in.

The state has yet to approve the regulations for the marijuana dispensaries or detail the licensing process.

The village will also have public hearing next month on whether to allow on-site marijuana use at smoking lounges in Albion.