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75 WNY towns and villages have opted out of NYS recreational marijuana program

Recreational Marijuana
Posted at 11:06 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 08:39:19-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If a city, town, or village wants to opt out of certain portions of New York's adult marijuana laws, it must do so before the end of the year. Opting out means a dispensary or on-site smoking location would be prohibited from setting up shop in that town. A person could still legally consume marijuana in a municipality even if it opted out.

A database is from the Rockefeller Institute of Government shows over 240 towns villages and cities in Western New York and whether or not it has opted in, out, or has not made a decision. According to the database, of the eight counties in Western New York, 14 municipalities have opted into allowing dispensaries, 75 have opted out and more than 150 have not made a decision.

If a municipality does nothing by the end of the year, it will be automatically opted into the state's recreational marijuana program.

The Town of Hamburg is one of those municipalities that has yet to make a decision. On December 13th, the towns next town board meeting, the board will determine their stance.

“I'm inclined to say that we're not quite ready for parlors for on-site consumption, but we are ready for a major dispensary. We certainly have the available space,” said Hamburg Supervisor James Shaw.