Pomfret town officials spoke about marijuana at this week’s meeting.
With the pot recently legalized in New York State, every municipality in the state must decide whether to “opt out” authorize legally authorized sales of the drug. Pomfret supervisor Dan Pacos noted that there are actually two withdrawal zones. Municipalities can opt out of dispensaries where marijuana is sold in a pharmacy-like setting, and / or they can opt out of the so-called “Social use areas” where people can smoke marijuana on site, which will instead be set up as cafes or bars.
However, as Pacos noted, the municipalities that opt out will be cut off from any tax revenue from the legalized pot.
“I don’t want to withdraw from anything that brings us money” said Chris Schaeffer, city council member.
City attorney Jeff Passafaro told the board: “There are all kinds of licenses and you don’t control any of that. “ He added that even if a local municipality refused to allow marijuana sales, the state’s Marijuana Control Board could still set up a dispensary there if it so wished.
“If you do not unsubscribe, you can restrict by zoning” said Passafaro.
The lawyer noted that there is a tight deadline for this decision. All municipalities must decide whether or not to withdraw by the end of the year.
“My instinctive reaction is that we would like to participate because we should have some control and sources of income”, said City Councilor Ann Eckman.
Passafaro noted that the village of Fredonia, which lies within the borders of Pomfret, will not be affected by the city council’s decision. Board members speculated that most of the marijuana vendors would like to settle in the village, although it is possible that someone is looking to settle on a short portion of commercially zoned land. on route 60.
If the board decides not to withdraw from pot sales, according to Passafaro, it doesn’t need to take any action. He again suggested unspecified revisions to the zoning code if they stay and fail to withdraw.