IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WROC) — Local village, town, and city leaders are in the process of making decisions regarding the legalization of marijuana in New York State. Each municipality has until the end of the year to make these decisions – including opting in or out of allowing dispensaries in town and public smoking restrictions.
Dave Seeley is the Irondequoit town supervisor. He said they won’t be opting out of allowing dispensaries in town for a few reasons.
“People are transient, if people want to obtain these products they’re gonna go get them, so it just makes sense not to have this swiss cheese approach where you’re skipping over municipalities. Borders are invisible, so the opting out to me never really made sense from a town to town point of view,” Seeley said.
However, he said there’s still a lot to consider including how many dispensaries they want in town and zoning laws.
“I think we can restrict it to certain areas of town to ensure it’s not only away from schools but away from places where youth congregate, away from directly adjacent to residential areas,” he said. “Ultimately our goal is not to have a high density in town, I think the town board agrees with that.”
Seeley said the town will be prohibiting public smoking on town facility property just like they do with tobacco. He also said they’re focusing on youth prevention throughout this process
Seeley said Irondequoit hasn’t received a lot of public feedback on the issue but they are always open to hearing anyone’s opinion. He said the town has heard from people wanting to open dispensaries, which will be regulated by the state.
The town of Pittsford, however, has gotten public feedback. Stephanie Townsend is a town board member and said the board met last week to discuss their approach going forward.
“We will be doing mailings to all houses in Pittsford educating them about what the law is and the decisions the town has to make. We’ll be holding some information sessions publicly both online and, if situation allows in person, to hear and really to be listening sessions to hear what is on the mind of residents,” she said.
The town of Pittsford plans to hold information sessions this summer.