City of Rochester’s Cannabis Preparation Commission outlines plans

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As the City of Rochester continues to prepare for the future sale of recreational cannabis, it’s also developing plans to not only manage the businesses but also maximize the economic opportunities created by the sale of pot.

Wednesday Mayor Malik Evans and the city’s Cannabis Preparation Commission outlined some of their plans moving forward.

Right now, they say the city is in a holding pattern, as it’s still waiting for adult use-cannabis regulations to be handed down by New York State and the Office of Cannabis Management has yet to start handing out retail licenses to sell.

It’s been 3 months since Evans formed Rochester’s Cannabis Preparation Committee. Since then the committee has focused on creating its own city-wide regulations on the retail sale and consumption of adult-use marijuana.

One area in particular centers on time, place and manner. Evans said the time component will address the hours of operations for pot dispensaries. Place is about zoning, like exactly how many feet from a school, church or playground a dispensary or consumption lounge can be located from. The last component is manner, which will focus on how businesses will be conducted.

We asked Evans how the city plans to use the revenues generated by cannabis sales. He said entrepreneurship is a major priority, and so is putting money toward "social equity".

"But it will definitely be a community conversation," Evans said. "Internally here at City Hall with myself, and the City Council, but also a larger community conversation to make sure we get good feedback from the folks on what it is they want to see that money used."

Evans said the first of many public information sessions will take place on April 14. The public will have a chance to share their ideas with the committee.