Newburgh City Council declared its intent as lead agency under the State Environmental Quality Review Act [SEQR] to amend Chapter 300 of the city code titled Zoning with regards to cannabis dispensaries and other associated retail and production facilities. In addition, the council also approved to schedule and set a public hearing for comments for the next city council meeting to be held at 7 p.m. on March 27.
Corporation Counsel Michelle Kelson introduced the item zoning items last week at the work session. “What we are introducing tonight is the city’s proposed regulations of retail dispensaries and on-site consumption stores for cannabis, for those businesses that potentially will be issued cannabis licenses through the state Office of Cannabis Management,” said Kelson.
According to Kelson, the resolutions would begin the process for the city to notify other interested parties, will begin the discussion about the Environmental Assessment Form [EAF] and will allow the Orange County Planning Department to review the proposed changes through a future referral.
With new licenses potentially issued, this would see an additional revenue source in the city and would see new business owners start in the city. However, according to Kelson, there is currently federal litigation that is preventing licenses being issued. In New York State, licenses are not allowed to be issued in the Mid-Hudson region which includes the City of Newburgh. Despite the litigation, this will allow the city to conduct a thorough process in preparing local enactments.