Good Question: Do counties have to make a marijuana sales decision?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— This has been all the talk recently at board meetings. Will your government officials opt-out of legal marijuana sales and lounges?

The debate is happening all over the state under the new law.

See, there’s no opting in. That’s automatic if a city, town, or village doesn’t take action by passing a local law by the end of the year.

Some examples already?

Irondequoit will have marijuana retail and on-site consumption. Penfield will not have lounges but dispensaries are allowed. Gates is opting out of both types of marijuana business.

What about at the county level? A viewer asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: "Do county lawmakers have to make a decision on marijuana sales?"

That answer is no. They can’t opt-out. No decision to make.

Another viewer asked: "I’ve seen where several municipalities are opting out of allowing sales. Does this mean they are also opting out of tax dollars?"


How does all this break down locally when it comes to tax revenue?

The Office of Cannabis Management says "There is a local excise tax imposed on the sale of cannabis products from a retail dispensary to a cannabis consumer at 4 percent of the products price. this tax is distributed to local governments based on where the retail dispensary is located. 25 percent of the tax revenue goes to the county and 75 percent goes to the cities, town, or villages within the county as a proportion of cannabis sales."

Why would places opt-out?

We’ve heard several seasons like too many unknowns or neighbors worried this could increase addiction.

Supporters argue the economics: You don’t want to miss out on new revenue and business for something that’s already here anyway. Places can always opt-in, but once you’re in, you’re in.

No opting out after Dec.31.


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