Yates sets Oct. 12 hearing on whether to allow marijuana dispensaries

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 September 2021 at 3:14 pm

YATES – The Town Board has set a 7 p.m. public hearing on Oct. 12 to hear from residents whether Yates should allow marijuana to be sold from a legal dispensary, where people could purchase adult-use cannabis products. The hearing will be at the Town Hall, 8 South Main St.

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.