Monday, January 17, 2022

Moreau town board open to marijuana sale, balks at its use on-site at bars, etc.

Chronicle staff writer Zander Frost reports: “No decision has been made” on whether to authorize or forbid marijuana dispensaries in Moreau, Town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz told The Chronicle.

He expects it to be discussed at the Town Board meeting, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

Dec. 31 is the deadline set by New York State to opt out of allowing sales. Otherwise it’s allowed permanently. Towns can opt in later if they opt out initially.

Participating municipalities receive tax revenue from marijuana sales.

The majority of the board is receptive to allowing it, Chronicle interviews indicate.

“It’s legal, I don’t have a problem with it,” said Councilman John Donohue.

“One thing I don’t like is they’re going to have bars or…consumption stations. I’m not a big fan of that. But as far as legal sales, I don’t have a problem with it.”

Mr. Donohue said, “People with substance abuse problems — that isn’t the substance that’s the problem. I know. I’m a recovering alcoholic. Alcohol is not the problem. JD [John Donohue himself] is.”

Councilman Kyle Noonan said, “I would support dispensaries in the town of Moreau…I would not support on site consumption.”

He said he has no personal affinity for cannabis. “Most people laugh at me when I tell them this: I’ve never smoked weed in my entire life. A lot of people are like, ‘Ha! You sound like Bill Clinton!’”

Mr. Noonan said, “But I do not want to pass up on an opportunity that most of our neighboring towns that we share borders with are going to take advantage of.”

On the issue, “It’s 50/50 what I hear from residents,” Mr. Noonan said.

He added, “I hate the smell in public, I absolutely abhor it. I don’t think it’s right.”

Councilman Alan Van Tassel said, “I’m not going to be in support of opting out. I don’t believe that’s the direction we’re headed.” He said, “I need to do a whole lot more study, analysis of on-site consumption, specifically around other communities around the country that have done that and what the positive or negative impacts of that.”

Incoming Councilman Mark Stewart, who takes office Jan. 1, told The Chronicle he plans to look into it further “before the first of the year here.”

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