COLONIE — The town is holding a public hearing next week on a proposal to ban recreational marijuana from being used on-site at any retail locations that might open.
The upcoming hearing, scheduled for Thursday, is taking place as municipalities across the state grapple with whether to participate in the retail marijuana industry after New York legalized recreational marijuana March 31. Municipalities have until Dec. 31 to opt out of allowing such businesses, and have the choice to opt back in at a later date. However, municipalities will not have the ability to opt out after the December deadline passes.
Approved marijuana retailers are not expected to open until next year at the earliest, although the state has yet to finish writing the regulations, taxing and license structure that will govern them. Also, government leadership-appointed nominees to key regulatory roles have yet to be announced or confirmed by the state Senate; the governor’s office said last month that the nomination review process is underway.
Recreational marijuana was made legal for those over 21 years old, and in quantities not to exceed three ounces, or 24 grams concentrated. A person can also grow up six plants at home.
The proposed opt out in Colonie would allow marijuana retailers, but ban any on-premises use of the products. So-called “tasting rooms” exist in the U.S., but appear to still be a relatively new endeavor. The Vegas Tasting Room, for example, claims to be the only “cannabis consumption lounge in Nevada.”
At the moment, Colonie appears to be among the first municipalities in the Capital Region to take steps to partially or fully opt out of the newly legalized recreational marijuana industry.
“The analogy I gave to the town board was liquor stores