Town opts out of legal sale of cannabis products

Holds option to opt in


At the Town of Islip Board Meeting on Aug. 10, the board voted to opt out of legal sale of cannabis products, reserving the right to opt in at a later date.

A spokesperson for the town said, “The first tangible step towards a functioning cannabis industry in New York is the formation of the five-member Cannabis Control Board, which will oversee and determine its regulatory framework and licensing, and nominating an executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management, who will lead the implementing agency of this process. This has yet to be done. There are many details we still want to know, and there’s much that remains unsettled about how this will work. By opting out, the Town of Islip reserves the choice to opt in at a later date.”

The town has opted out of cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses before the deadline of Dec. 31, 2021. If they did not opt out by Dec. 31, 2021, the town would have been unable to opt out at a future date. However, they may opt back in, to allow either or both uses by repealing the local law which established the prohibition, according to the New York State website.

The Village of Brightwaters will be hosting a public meeting on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, concerning opting out of the sale of marijuana. 

In accordance with the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), adult (21 years or older) marijuana use or possession is now legal in New York State. Local municipalities will have until the end of the year to decide whether or not to opt in or out of the legal sale of marijuana within their business districts.

According to New York State law, cities, towns, and villages can opt out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses from locations within their jurisdictions. However, municipalities cannot opt out of adult-use legalization.

All municipalities, according to NYS, are not permitted to prohibit the operation or licensure of adult-use, medical or cannabinoid hemp licenses. However, they are permitted to pass laws and regulations to govern the time, place and manner of the retail dispensaries.

For example, the Cannabis Control Board details: “Cities, towns, and villages are permitted to pass laws and regulations pertaining to local zoning and the location of licensees, hours of operations and adherence to local building codes. Municipalities may not issue local licenses to cannabis licensees.”


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