Mayor of Schenectady opposes city council committee decision to withdraw from marijuana business

The town of Schenectady decides to withdraw from the sales of recreational marijuana.

Schenectady’s city council government operations committee agreed to withdraw from sales on Monday, joining Niskayuna and Glenville in rejecting the new legal pot industry. The refusal to host recreational marijuana sales means the city would not receive its share of the 4% sales tax revenue earmarked for local counties and municipalities. Democratic city councilor Marion Porterfield said no one ever wanted to lose income.

“It’s not like we’re losing income because we haven’t gotten it,” Porterfield said. “And we also have to wait, whatever maybe comes from that revenue, and will there be any additional costs that we have to incur as a result of a number of things, more enforcement, making sure to that only the dispensaries that are open are the dispensaries that are currently selling. So there is a lot to look at. So we would need to weigh all the aspects, the revenue side versus the zoning of where it can be. be, and everything that goes with it. So I think looking at the big picture, you just don’t want to look at one aspect of the picture. “

Passed earlier this year, the state’s marijuana taxation and regulation law gives local municipalities until December 31 to pass local law prohibiting cannabis dispensaries and salons from opening in their jurisdictions. Municipalities that take no action are automatically accepted. Porterfield says those who opt out have the option to re-register at a later date, and the board will resume the matter in 90 days.

“Withdrawing means that the municipality has the opportunity to take a look at it, examine the things it has mentioned in probably others and hear what the public has to say,” said Porterfield. “We have had comments from the public. , but just based on how much we had, since we decided that would be on the agenda, I’m sure there are a lot more people who have, want to have a say. So that gives us the opportunity to look at all of these things, because we also have the option to re-register, but you can’t do the opposite. If you let the time pass and you don’t get a registration. There is no possibility to unsubscribe.

Schenectady’s Democratic mayor Gary McCarthy was asked by WAMC about the committee’s decision the next day. “A little late in the game and I would have preferred that the board didn’t go down that road, but we’ll just see how it plays out,” McCarthy said.

Porterfield said: “I strongly believe that we are making the right decision here. And, you know, again, that will give us time to make sure that we have looked at all aspects of whether or not salons and dispensaries are permitted. of cannabis. “

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