OPINION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Get involved in local marijuana regulations

Letter to the Editor

After years of research and debate New York State has passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). This law allows and regulates adult-recreational use of marijuana and other cannabis products. Marijuana can now be smoked any place where tobacco is allowed to be smoked. 

The new Cannabis Control Board is developing regulations that control the planting, harvesting, processing, transporting, and selling of marijuana. 

Yates County’s nine towns and four villages have the opportunity to make local decisions to allow or prohibit selling marijuana at State-licensed and regulated retail dispensaries in their boundaries. They also can decide to allow or prohibit on-site marijuana consumption cafes. If they are allowed, local governments will receive an Excise Tax of 4% of the income of those businesses. 

Local governments may enact reasonable regulations of personal cultivation and home possession. They can regulate the time, place, and manner of operation of licensed dispensaries and consumption cafes. They can also limit public locations where products can be smoked or vaped. The regulations cannot be unreasonably impracticable.

These decisions will affect all Yates County residents and visitors. The Yates County Democrats urge the public to ask when their town or village will be discussing MRTA, go to the meetings, listen to the discussions, ask questions and share opinions. Democracy works best when we all participate. 

Yates County Democratic Committee

Submitted by Pat Selwood, Keuka Park