Speakers at Middletown public hearing support allowing pot dispensaries – Mid-Hudson News

MIDDLETOWN – Mayor Joseph DeStefano is pushing a ban on cannabis dispensaries and lounges in the city, but that decision is up to the common council.

A dozen people spoke in favor of allowing them, while only one person, a bank president opposed them.

The mayor and some members of the council note that if they are banned by the end of the year and it is proven to be a bad policy, they can be approved next year.

DeStefano is also concerned about approving them now as the state has yet to draft regulations to govern them and that could take another year.

Those who spoke in favor of them said banning dispensaries would mean an estimated loss of $100,000 in tax revenue to the city. Others said it would hurt the black and brown communities since a percentage of dispensary operators would have to be minority members, according to the state law legalizing recreational cannabis use.

Some who spoke compared smoking pot to alcohol consumption.

The common council took no action on the mayor’s proposal on Tuesday night.

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