Public comment on marijuana shops to be heard at upcoming board meeting

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Marijuana derivative cannabidiol (CBD) has been legal and sold at places like Your CBD Store in Guilderland for some time.

GUILDERLAND — At the Sept. 21 Guilderland Town Board meeting, residents will be able to offer their opinion as to whether or not pot shops should be allowed in town. 

The state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act of 2021 was signed into law in March. Recreational marijuana use was legalized for people 21 and older in New York State, while selling it would be permitted once regulations were established. 

Municipalities now have until Dec. 31 to opt out of allowing retail dispensaries or licenses for on-site consumption. The law imposes a point-of-sale retail tax of 9 percent for the state and 4-percent local tax — 1 percent is retained by the county and 3 percent goes to the town, city, or village.

“The default mechanism is we literally do nothing, and December 31 comes and goes; then we are allowing both the dispensary and the places where you can actually use marijuana to take place,” said Supervisor Peter Barber during the town board’s Aug. 17 meeting. 

Barber contrasted Guilderland’s approach with the town of Colonie’s. 

He explained that Colonie’s plan is to allow for dispensaries but not for on-site consumption.

Barber said Colonie proposed a law and then asked for resident feedback.

“I would rather have it: Let’s see what people have to say, and then we’ll decide how it should be developed,” Barber said.

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