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The original item was published from 12/14/2021 9:07:18 AM to 1/2/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: December 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Bd votes 4-1 to allow cannabis dispensaries but not lounges

Town Board also directed Commissioner of Planning to draft local law prohibitting dispensaries on East Hartsdale Ave, Rt 119, Central Ave, near schools, playgrounds, public parks


The Greenburgh Town Board voted 4-1 to allow cannabis dispensaries to be located in Greenburgh. I voted no. The Board also agreed not to allow Cannabis lounges in the town (we all agreed) and directed the Commissioner of Planning to  draft a local law regulating time, place and manner associated with adult-use recreational cannabis dispensaries, utilizing the following guiding principles: 1. Dispensaries shall not be permitted in any residential zones or mixed-use corridors (East Hartsdale Avenue, Rt. 119, Central Avenue, etc.) immediately and/or significantly abutting residential zoning districts 2. Minimum linear separation distances be required from schools, playgrounds, public parks, etc. The 2nd resolution requiring the Commissioner of Planning to draft a local law was approved unanimously. 


On December 8th members of the Town Board received a letter from the Greenburgh Council of Civic Associations . The organization, representing civic associations in Greenburgh polled their membership and   recommended "opting out, at least for the present time.  Several representatives suggested awaiting regulations from the Cannabis Control Board and then adopting the necessary Greenburgh Zoning legislation regarding the time, place and manner of locating such establishments in unincorporated Greenburgh before a decision is made to "Opt In at a later date."  I agree with the Council And that is why I voted no. Municipalities that opt out can later opt in.   NYS is moving cautiously with the roll out of guidelines for marijuana dispensaries for what clearly are myriad social, fiscal and regulatory reasons. I believe there is inadequate information available for the Town Board to make a prudent decision regarding allowing dispensaries to operate. I suggested that until adequate info is available we should opt out. If in the future the obstacles and issues regarding such dispensaries are addressed Greenburgh could have comfortably revisited the matter and with the input of our community organizations and their leadership the Town Board could more intelligently decide if we should participate.


TARRYTOWN, HASTINGS HAVE OPTED TO ALLOW DISPENSARIES - ARDSLEY, ELMSFORD< DOBBS FERRY AND IRVINGTON HAVE NOT

Officials in towns and villages around the state have until December 31st to decide whether to allow cannabis dispensaries and lounges. Most of the cities have opted to allow dispensaries/lounges. In Greenburgh some of the villages have opted in. Others have opted out. 


An interesting article --what is happening around NYS (400 municipalities have opted out)

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2021/12/14/new-york-legal-marijuana-sales-opt-out-list/6499966001/

The following are the two resolutions approved last night. The first one approved 4-1. The 2nd unanimously. 

RESOLUTION ADOPTING A LOCAL LAW CREATING CHAPTER 335 OF THE CODE OF THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH ENTITLED “CANNABIS” WHICH RELATES TO OPTING OUT OF ALLOWING ADULT-USE ONSITE CANNABIS CONSUMPTION SITES LOCATING WITHIN THE UNINCORPORATED AREA OF THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH, AS AUTHORIZED UNDER ARTICLE 4 OF THE MARIJUANA REGULATION AND TAXATION ACT 


WHEREAS, on March 31, 2021, New York State (NYS) legalized adult-use cannabis (also known as marijuana, or recreational marijuana) by passing the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA); and WHEREAS, since NYS legalized the possession and use of cannabis earlier this year, the Town cannot prevent or regulate adults (21 years of age or older) from possessing and using cannabis anywhere tobacco is allowed in the Town (except cannabis cannot be consumed when operating a motor vehicle);


and WHEREAS, since NYS legalized the possession and use of cannabis earlier this year, the Town cannot restrict adults 21 years of age and older from growing up to 6 cannabis plants in their home for personal use (3 mature plants and 3 immature plants) and a maximum of twelve plants per household (6 mature plants and 6 immature plants); and WHEREAS, the NYS MRTA does allow local governments the legal authority to “opt-out” of allowing adult-use retail on-site consumption licenses and/or adult use cannabis retail dispensaries by passing a local law by December 31, 2021;


and WHEREAS, the NYS MRTA does not allow the Town to opt-out of any other adult-use license types from locating or operating within the Town, and does not allow the Town to opt-out of medical cannabis or cannabinoid hemp license types; and WHEREAS, any decision to opt-out of allowing adult-use on-site consumption licenses and/or adult use cannabis retail dispensaries is subject to a permissive referendum pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 24, allowing voters in the unincorporated area to petition whether or not to approve the local law; and WHEREAS, the action of approving a Local Law related to these cannabis opt-out options is deemed a Type II Action under SEQRA because it involves the “adoption of regulations, policies, procedures and local legislative decisions,” 6 NYCRR 617.5 (c)(33), requiring no SEQRA review; 


and WHEREAS, prior to the public hearings, on October 27, 2021, the Town Board held an informational meeting and public discussion regarding all aspects of the New York State marijuana legislation; and WHEREAS, on November 22, 2021, and December 8, 2021, the Town Board held a duly noticed public hearing regarding the potential local law opt-out, and heard all persons interested in the subject thereof who appeared at such time and place, concerning the same; and WHEREAS, during the information meeting, public discussion and public hearings, the Town Board heard comments ranging from opting out of both categories, opting out of the onsite retail cannabis consumption licenses only, and not opting out at all, with many speakers concerned about users smoking marijuana in a commercial setting (a lounge) and then driving home; 


and R 12/12/2021 WHEREAS, the Town Board seeks to opt-out of onsite cannabis consumption sites, which have been equated to being like a cigar lounge or local bar, where patrons consume the product in a commercial establishment and then travel home;


and WHEREAS, several abutting municipalities have chosen to not opt-out of adult use cannabis retail dispensaries, and the Town’s Interim Police Chief has stated that there is no increased risk to the public by the Town also allowing an adult-use retail dispensary within our borders; 


and WHEREAS, the NYS MRTA provides for municipalities who do not opt-out of adult use cannabis retail dispensaries to pass laws and regulations pertaining to the dispensary’s zoning and building code compliance, location, and the hours of operation, known as time, place and manner restrictions; 


and WHEREAS, this local law only regulates that area of the Town of Greenburgh outside of its incorporated villages, some of which have passed local laws on this matter; 


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board finds it in the best interest of the Town, at this time, to opt-out of allowing adult-use retail on-site cannabis consumption sites to locate within the Town of Greenburgh as authorized under Article 4 of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, and hereby adopts the attached Local Law; 


and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Board also finds it in the best interest of the Town to direct the preparation of a draft Local Law through the Department of Community Development and Conservation that regulates the time, place and manner of adult use cannabis retail dispensaries for future consideration;


and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Board will earmark any revenues the Town receives from allowing adult use cannabis retail dispensaries to offset the cost of social services provided by the Town


RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION TO DRAFT A LOCAL LAW REGULATING TIME, PLACE, AND MANNER, ASSOCIATED WITH ADULT-USE RECREATIONAL CANNABIS DISPENSARIES 


WHEREAS, on March 31, 2021, New York State legalized adult-use cannabis (also known as marijuana, or recreational marijuana) by passing the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA); and WHEREAS, the legislation allows local governments the legal authority to “opt-out” of allowing Adult-use Retail Cannabis Dispensaries and/or on-site consumption licenses, by passing a local law by December 31, 2021;


and WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh (“Town Board”) believed it is in the best interest of the Town to opt out of allowing on-site consumption licenses to locate in the Town, and as such approved a local law in connection with CD-1 – 12/13/2021, on December 13, 2021;


and WHEREAS, the Town Board has chosen to not opt-out of allowing Adult-use Retail Cannabis Dispensaries, in part, due to the following: 1. New York State Office of Cannabis Management guidance that local governments may pass laws and regulations pertaining to local zoning and the location of licensees, hours of operations and adherence to local building codes (time, place, manner); 2. All dispensaries operated in New York State will be subject to obtaining a License from the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, ensuring that cannabis retail sold will not be laced with a variety of commonly used harmful additives (such as fentanyl) or other psychoactive drugs; and 3. All dispensaries are subject to Police inspection; 


and WHEREAS, having chosen to not opt-out of allowing Adult-use Retail Cannabis Dispensaries, the Town Board believes it is in the best interest of the Town to have prepared a local law regulating the time, place and manner of this use to avoid potential nuisance and/or out of community character concerns; 


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh, that the Department of Community Development and Conservation is hereby directed to draft a local law regulating time, place and manner associated with adult-use recreational cannabis dispensaries, utilizing the following guiding principles: 1. Dispensaries shall not be permitted in any residential zones or mixed-use corridors (East Hartsdale Avenue, Rt. 119, Central Avenue, etc.) immediately and/or significantly abutting residential zoning districts 2. Minimum linear separation distances be required from schools, playgrounds, public parks, etc. 3. The use and related local law incorporate a special permit process

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