Murray sets Sept. 9 for public hearing about whether to allow marijuana dispensary in town

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 August 2021 at 1:02 pm

MURRAY – The Town Board wants to hear from residents whether the town should allow marijuana to be sold from a legal dispensary, where people could purchase adult-use cannabis products.

The board set a public hearing for 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Town Hall on Route 31 (3840 Fancher Rd.).

The state is giving municipalities until Dec. 31 to decide whether they will opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries. The municipalities also need to decide by the end of the year if they will opt out of allowing onsite consumption at businesses such as a smoking lounge.

The state has approved a 13-percent excise tax on marijuana with a breakdown that includes 9 cents for each taxable sale to the state, 3 cents to the municipality that has the dispensary, and 1 cent to the county. Municipalities that opt out wouldn’t be eligible for the 3-cent share of the 13-percent sales tax.

Towns and villages can’t overstep the state and ban recreational use of marijuana. But the towns and villages can prohibit dispensaries and smoking lounges.

If the municipal board for a village or town decides to opt out, residents could still push a permissive referendum, with the matter going on the ballot.

Municipalities could also decide to opt out, and later decide to “opt in” and allow the dispensaries and lounges.