The 5 members of the Chilly Spring Village board on Tuesday (July 20) voted unanimously to choose out of New York State legal guidelines regulating shops for the sale and consumption of authorized marijuana.
Mayor Dave Merandy famous the choice permits for what is named a “passive referendum,” through which residents can accumulate signatures to power a vote on Nov. 2 over whether or not to overturn the board selections.
New York legalized leisure use of hashish this yr for adults 21 and older, who can possess as much as 3 ounces. Whereas the state plans to license outlets that promote marijuana or permit on-site consumption, it allowed cities and villages to choose out by Dec. 31 of allowing such institutions inside their borders. Those who choose out can permit the institutions later. Those who “choose in” by inaction can not later ban gross sales.
“There might be a bigger debate afterward,” Merandy predicted, including that Chilly Spring may gain advantage from learning the expertise of states similar to Massachusetts, which legalized gross sales in 2016.
There was little smoke and no fireplace on the July 15 public listening to on whether or not the village ought to choose out. Held on the firehouse, the listening to drew solely a handful of residents and concluded 11 minutes after it started.
Eliza Starbuck, a candidate for village trustee, requested if Chilly Spring would have management over marijuana institutions if it opts in later.
“The village would have the ability to decide the place they’d be situated and what number of” by zoning legal guidelines, Merandy mentioned.
After Starbuck requested for clarification relating to the gross sales tax advantages, Trustee Kathleen Foley mentioned gross sales can be taxed at 4 p.c, on prime of the common state gross sales tax. “Twenty-five p.c [of the 4 percent] is retained by Putnam County,” she mentioned. “Seventy-five p.c goes again to the municipality” the place the sale occurred.
“It’s the one tax underneath state legislation that the county has to share with us,” Foley mentioned.
Tara Vamos, who lives within the village, spoke in favor of permitting gross sales. “It could be an excellent asset to have a dispensary on the town,” she mentioned. “Getting again that gross sales tax can be super.”
Earlier this month, the three members of the Putnam County Legislature’s Well being Committee wrote to city and village leaders suggesting they choose out. Their letter cited a research revealed this yr that discovered house costs inside a 36-mile space in Washington state of a brand new dispensary fell by 3 to 4 p.c on common.
Vamos disputed that report, pointing to a 2017 research that discovered houses in Denver situated nearer to dispensaries elevated in worth by about 8 p.c after hashish gross sales grew to become authorized in Colorado in 2014. She additionally disputed findings that dispensaries result in elevated use of marijuana.
In letters to the village, two individuals wrote in opposition to permitting retail gross sales. Evan Hudson argued that opting out “will assist to take care of our high quality of life in Chilly Spring,” whereas Danielle Pack McCarthy, government director of the Philipstown Behavioral Well being Hub, mentioned that opting out provides Chilly Spring the chance to see how issues unfold in different municipalities. Doing in any other case, she argued, would ship a message to youth that smoking marijuana is OK.
“I see many younger individuals who are available with severe marijuana dependency,” Pack McCarthy wrote. “Easy accessibility would seemingly improve these numbers.”