Effective March 31, 2021, Governor Cuomo legalized adult-use of marijuana and provided for the licensure of producers, distributors, and retailers of marijuana throughout New York State. Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, the Legislature has established the New York State Cannabis Control Board and empowered this Board to regulate the licensure and establishment of retail dispensary licenses and on-site consumption licenses.
Although municipalities are preempted from regulating the operation or licensure of registered organizations, adult-use cannabis licenses, or cannabinoid hemp licenses, towns, villages, and cities may opt-out of allowing retail dispensaries and on-site consumption licenses within their respective boundaries. A municipality cannot opt out of allowing other licensed entities within their boundaries, including those possessing a delivery, nursery, cultivator or microbusiness license. The municipality may opt-out by adopting a local law subject to a permissive referendum on or before December 31, 2021. A municipality is expressly prohibited from adopting a local law prohibiting the establishment of retail dispensary licenses and on-site consumption licenses after December 31, 2021.
If the municipality does not opt-out by December 31, 2021, the municipality may participate in the Board’s consideration of an application for licensure as an adult-use retail dispensary or registered organization adult-use cultivator