Clinton Village Board opts out on pot dispensaries

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CLINTON — The village board voted Monday to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and consumption establishments within the village.

Clinton was among the 400 towns and villages across the state to opt out of hosting dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges as the deadline for a decision approaches on Dec. 31. In Oneida County, Oneida Castle, Vernon and Waterville, as well as the City of Sherrill and the Town of Lee, have voted to opt out as well.

Mayor Elizabeth C. Tantillo said the village held a public hearing on the marijuana legislation Nov. 22 at Kirkland Art Center, which was attended by about 30 residents.

“Fifteen people spoke on both sides of the issue, whether to opt out or in, and it was almost even,” said Tantillo. “But there was an interesting cross section of the village, and the board was all in attendance, so they were able to hear a variety of views.”

Then at the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, there was a resolution on the agenda to discuss whether to opt out or in.

“If you’re opting in, you don’t need to do a board resolution, but we had one on the table” from a prior meeting, “to decide one way or the other,” Mayor Tantillo explained. “So the board made a resolution to opt out of the sale of cannabis through dispensaries and on-site consumption in an establishment.”

As a result, the board voted 3-1 in favor of opting out of sales and on-site consumption. However, if anyone is still opposed to the village’s decision to opt out, Tantillo said they have until Thursday, Jan. 6, to submit a petition.

She said petitions must contain at least 258 signatures of village residents in order to qualify.

“If that happens, then we will have a permissive referendum and put it to vote of all the village in March,” the mayor explained. “If there’s no petition or if the petition doesn’t follow protocol, we will stay opted out and no vote will be needed.”

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