The Town of Montgomery is expected to join the growing list of communities to opt out of a new state law that permits the sale of marijuana products.
The town board has scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 6:45 p.m. to consider opting out. (The first meeting in December will take place on a Wednesday, instead of the usual Thursday.)
Though recreational marijuana is now legal in New York State, municipalities have until Dec. 31 of this year to decide if they want to opt out, and not permit its sale within their boundaries. If they choose not to act, recreational marijuana sales will automatically be permitted within their boundaries, and could be sold at retail outlets, including gas stations and convenience stores.
Deputy Town Supervisor Ron Feller, at a recent town board meeting, pointed out that any action they take on cannabis does not apply to the three villages within the town which set their own local laws. If the town decides to permit the dispensaries, it would stand to collect some sales tax revenue. The sale of cannabis products would come with a four percent Orange County sales tax. The county would keep 25 percent of that amount and distribute the reminder to the municipalities.
To date, the villages of Walden and Maybrook have opted out, as has the Town of Crawford. The Town of Shawangunk is also expected to opt out, while Town of Gardiner officials indicated they favor cannabis sales. The Village of Montgomery has scheduled a public hearing for Dec. 7 at 7:15 p.m. to consider opting out.
Feller, who chaired the meeting in place of Supervisor Brian Maher, left no doubt as to which way he is leaning.
“We should not support anything that’s going to be detrimental to the youth of this town,” he said. “ This is not leading us in the right direction.
I don’t think we should encourage it in any way, shape or form.”