Rhinebeck City Council holds public hearing on proposal not to allow marijuana retailers – Daily Freeman


RHINEBECK, NY – City Council members have scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, September 1 on a proposal to withdraw from a pending state law that allows municipalities to establish zoning designations for marijuana parlors and dispensaries.

The screening is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 80 E. Market St.

Under proposed local law, salons or dispensaries would be banned, but that would not affect regulations for private use that come into effect under a state law passed earlier this year.

“What municipalities can do is refuse to allow adult cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses to set up in their jurisdiction,” the city’s attorney said, Warren Replansky.

Under state regulations, municipalities have until December 31 to opt out of state law. If they don’t, they will be required to license businesses but can still establish zoning bylaws that designate places in a community where such activities are permitted. If a municipality does not withdraw at that time, there will not be a second chance to ban the businesses.

“There is potentially tax money at our disposal,” said supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia. “We would get 75 percent of the tax revenue that goes to the county. … This could be a good piece of change. We do not know.

A city council decision to withdraw from state law could be overturned by a permissive referendum requested through a petition submitted by residents.

“We plan to have as much time as possible to collect and discuss public comments before we have to step down at the end of the year,” Spinzia said. “I am prepared to pay for a special election in order to have enough time for public discussion. “

Village officials are also considering whether to pass similar local law, with Mayor Gary Bassett saying public input is sought before deciding whether to hold a public hearing.

“We will launch a public inquiry which will last until the end of the month,” he said. “At that time, we will set the resolutions and the public hearings. “

Bassett said if the village does not back down, there should be discussions about where businesses would be allowed.

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