NYS Legalization of Recreational Marijuana - Village of Chittenango's Local Opt-Out Decision

Pursuant to New York State's Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Cuomo, adults 21 and over can now possess, use, transfer, up to three ounces of cannabis (marijuana and associated products) and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis as well as plant, cultivate, harvest, process cannabis for their personal use.

Essentially, in New York State, marijuana will be regulated similarly to tobacco and to a certain degree as alcohol.

The Village of Chittenango has very limited authority to limit or prohibit the adult use of marijuana. The Village Board of Trustees would like to address what we can, based on the input of Village residents. The Village Board can address the following:

  • Decide to Opt-Out and not allow retail dispensaries in the Village of Chittenango.

The Village Board can pass a local law that indicates to New York State not to license cannabis retail dispensaries within the Village of Chittenango. Upon passing of the law, the citizens of the Village may file a petition requiring that Village residents be allowed to vote on allowing retail dispensaries at the March 2022 election. If the vote passes then New York State would license cannabis retail dispensaries.

If the Village Board passes a local law to opt-out then it can always repeal the law later. If the Village Board does not pass a local law to opt-out then New York State will always be able to license cannabis retail dispensaries.

If a licensed retail cannabis dispensary operates in the Village of Chittenango, the Village will receive 4% of the total tax applied to the product. No revenue will be received if the Village opts-out.

  • Decide to Opt-Out and not allow on-site consumption facilities (like marijuana bars) in the Village of Chittenango

Same as for retail dispensaries, but pertaining to just establishments that allow the use of marijuana.

  • Impose local indoor smoking and vaping restrictions that are stricter than the State's law.

Cannabis in New York State is being treated largely as something smoked or vaped. The Village Board understands that cannabis can be also consumed as an edible. The State law is quiet on this type of consumption and we hope that the State will recognize and correct their mistakes.

  • Impose local smoking and vaping restrictions on municipal property, such as parks and playgrounds, which is stricter than the State's law.

The Village of Chittenango already bans smoking at parks and playgrounds. This would extend such a ban to smoking and vaping of marijuana.

  • Impose local laws and regulations governing the time, place and manner of operation of licensed cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments provided that such laws or regulations do not make the operation of such licensed entities unreasonably impracticable.

The Village can pass local laws and zoning regulations to indicate where facilities can be operated. For instance, only in the downtown business district or not in residential districts. The Village can also set time restrictions to ensure that establishments do not operate 24/7. The State law has created an Office of Cannabis Management which will set forth the rules and regulations for these establishments to ensure their security.

Dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities may not be located within 500 feet of school grounds or within 200 feet of a house of worship.

Finally, the Chittenango Police Department will be able to inspect any licensed facility to ensure compliance with the Cannabis Law, related regulations and other applicable State and local building codes, fire, health and other applicable regulations.