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Deadline has closed for local WNY governments to opt-in or out of marijuana sales

“The legalization is going to be a huge boost to the community both in the form of giving back to the taxpayers, getting our infrastructure fixed, and more money to the school districts.”
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Posted at 8:22 PM, Dec 31, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - — The deadline for local governments to opt-out of allowing marijuana sales and consumption sites in their communities have closed today.

According to the Rockefeller Institute, many local municipalities have opted out of cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites, including Akron, Alden, Lancaster, Niagara, and Williamsville.

The town supervisor of Amherst, Brian Kulpa, says his town isn't taking any action, which means they're opting in.

"When New York State first legalized it, we had some decisions to make at the end of the day Amherst is one of the towns that surround Buffalo," he says. "But it is 130,000 people, so it's bigger by itself than the city of Albany."

Kulpa says opting in would bring more business to the area.

What we realized was it didn't make sense to give up revenue and to ostracize it when New York State already said it's a legal exercise," the supervisors explain. "For us, it's about funding children's substance prevention programs. We want to fund additional police. We want to fund additional police activities."

Meanwhile, a store manager from the "Your CBD Store" of Williamsville in Amherst says not much will change for the franchise business because they follow the federal guidelines.

"Ours a little bit different because everything is derived from hemp vs. coming from marijuana," Persephone Fitzgerald says. "However, the franchise is very science-based, and the legalization will help boost up a little bit."

Fitzgerald sees her town heading in the right direction with this decision.

"The legalization is going to be a huge boost to the community," she says. "In the form of giving back to the taxpayers, getting our infrastructure fixed, more money to the school districts."

Yet, the town supervisor of Amherst says the area would have to follow some guidelines.

"We'd have to get our zoning correct, and that's going to depend on how the state lets us," Kulpa says. "We're going to figure out what location is appropriate for this type of sale.

Kulpa says there isn't a clear answer as to when the marijuana sales will begin in his area.