Early discussions have begun across the Hudson Valley among cities, town and villages as to whether to cater to cannabis buyers, and whether to opt out of the market.
Recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older was legalized in New York during this year’s legislative session with the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. Now attention shifts to the local level, where municipalities have until December 31 to pass a local law to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and smoking lounges — either both or one or the other. If municipalities don’t opt-out by the year-end deadline, they will be unable to opt-out at a future date but can decide to opt back in by repealing the originally passed local law. Voters within each municipality may petition the outcome of a local law, moving the matter to the ballot at the next general election.
New York State has established a 13 percent tax on legal marijuana sales, which includes a 4 percent local excise tax that will be distributed to local governments based on where a retail dispensary is located. Twenty-five percent of this tax revenue goes to the