OSWEGO COUNTY – Your right to smoke, grow, and possess marijuana has certainly been a long time coming to New York. And depending on the choices municipalities throughout the state make by Dec. 31, it could still be a long time gone.
Towns, villages, and cities have until the end of this year to opt out of one critical component of marijuana legalization: the right to sell marijuana in a legal dispensary.
You may have the right to buy limited quantities of marijuana, but if your town, village, or city “opts out,” as it’s called, you’ll only be able to express that right somewhere else. Medical marijuana, however, is exempt from this restriction, and counties do not have the right to prevent the establishment of dispensaries.
A municipality may choose to opt-out of both adult-use retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses or just one type of license (for example, allow retail dispensaries but not on-site consumption licenses).
If a town passes a local law to opt-out, it only affects the area of the town outside of any village within the town.
Any local law opting out of adult-use retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses will be subject to a permissive referendum as outlined in