Cannabis Legalization Information and Resources

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) was signed into New York State law on March 31, 2021. The possession and use of recreational marijuana is now legal for adults older than 21. The MRTA established the Office of Cannabis Management to develop and oversee the regulatory framework that will govern the production, sale and distribution of cannabis in New York. Many of the rules and regulations governing cannabis in the state have not yet been fully established, though the regulatory framework is similar to the way alcohol is regulated through the New York State Liquor Authority. According to the New York Council of Mayors (NYCOM), the actual sale of adult-use cannabis is not expected to begin until late 2022 or 2023. There are multiple licenses and regulations over which the Village, as a municipality, will not have any control, but there are at least three areas of the law that local communities have some say, and the Village must make some decisions by the end of the year. 

The Village will need to decide whether to opt out of allowing retail sales (think of a liquor store for marijuana), on-site consumption (think of a bar, but for marijuana), or both. If the Village wants to opt out, the Board must enact a local law by December 31, 2021, otherwise, the Village automatically opts in. If the Village opts in, the Board will have the ability to enact rules regulating time, place and manner of operation of businesses, but the Village will not be able to bar them entirely. If the Villge opts in, the Village will receive a percentage of the sales tax from establishments selling cannabis in within our borders. The law has many facets, and there is much to understand. The Board of Trustees hosted the first Educational Forum, and the Village will host another in September. 

Resources

New York Office of Cannabis Management

MRTA Info Sheet from NYCOM

NYCOM marijuana legalization resources page

NYC DA Report on Marijuana, Fairness and Public Safety

Benjamin Center Report on fallacy of gateway drug

Fact Sheet: What you need to know

Fact sheet: Governance structure

Fact sheet: Penal Law

Fact Sheet: Social and Economic Equity

Educational Forum held July 12, 2021