Amid the anticipated festivities to usher in the New Year, New Yorkers will also have a clearer picture of where they can buy and consume legal marijuana.
December 31 marks the deadline when cities, villages and towns can choose not to allow licenses for marijuana consumption lounges or retail dispensaries within their jurisdictions, according to New York’s cannabis law. Counties do not have this option
So far, about 400 municipalities have done so.
Local areas have been given the power to adopt a law to withhold either or both of these licenses as part of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the state law approved in March that authorized the sale of recreational marijuana.
Communities are not allowed to opt out of marijuana as a whole, as investors can still obtain other types of licenses, such as those for cultivation or delivery. But this certainly means that those regions will lose out on some of the tax revenue associated with the new legal market.
However, weeks before the deadline, hundreds of localities across the state chose to opt out entirely from the two licenses in their communities, with some leaders expressing concerns about the lack of regulations passed by the state’s Cannabis Control Board. Some communities have opted out of just one license.
The Board of Directors held its first meeting in October. However, a political row between former Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers over appointments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has slowed appointments to the cannabis board of directors.