Southampton Village Opts Out of Legal Pot Sales

Cannabis entrepreneur Fetti lights a hybrid strain joint of his marijuana brand "PowerPuff" at a home in New York, U.S. April 1, 2021.
Cannabis entrepreneur Fetti lights a hybrid strain joint of his marijuana brand "PowerPuff" at a home in New York, U.S. April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Village of Southampton voted to opt out of allowing sales of newly legalized recreational marijuana at pot shops and on-site consumption at cannabis cafes within the village’s borders.

Southampton Village’s board of trustees unanimously approved the opt-out legislation at its September 9 meeting following a public hearing on the issue.

“We’ve seen a few other villages opt out, so we would not be the first to do so,” said Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren, who questioned how much the tax revenue from legal weed sales would add to village coffers.

New York State legalized recreational marijuana possession and consumption in March, but towns and villages have until December 31 to decide whether to opt out of allowing sales or on-site consumption in their communities. But since the neighboring Shinnecock Indian Nation announced plans to open a dispensary in Southampton this year, and the tribe is not bound by town laws, some, especially Town of Southampton leaders, have questioned whether opting out would be effective.

The Town of Shelter Island passed a measure in May opting out of sales and on-site consumption of marijuana. The Riverhead Town Board voted down an opt-out proposal in June. Other villages and towns across the East End are debating whether to opt out as well.

The state law allows residents of localities that opt out a chance to petition for a referendum giving voters a chance to decide whether to opt back in. Municipalities that opt out now can also vote to opt back in on their own at a later date.

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