DANSVILLE – A referendum on February 15 will determine whether residents of the Village of Dansville want to continue to opt out of establishing and licensing retail cannabis dispensaries and on-site cannabis consumption in the Village.
Voting is scheduled for noon to 9 p.m. on February 15 at North Dansville City Hall, 14 Clara Barton St.
Residents will vote on two proposals: “Should the Village of Dansville continue to back out of (prohibit) the licensing and establishment of cannabis retail dispensaries in the Village of Dansville? and “Should the Village of Dansville continue to withdraw (prohibit) the licensing and establishment of on-site cannabis consumption establishments in the Village of Dansville?” »
Voters must be registered voters in the village of Dansville in order to vote.
“If people say yes to either of the two proposals, the opt-out remains in effect. If they say no, we will go ahead and allow anyone who wishes to apply for the purchase of a marijuana dispensary license and an on-site consumer license,” Mayor Pete Vogt said in explaining the referendum vote and its purpose.
The village council chose Dec. 21 to opt out of the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, or MRTA, which became law in March 2021.
Municipalities across the state had until Dec. 31 to make a decision; if they made no decision, the municipality would automatically opt into state law, which would allow retail locations and on-premises consumption.
Municipalities that have opted out can register at a later date and there are also options for a public referendum to put the issue to a community-wide vote.
Dansville’s decision to withdraw opened a 45-day window in which residents could collect signatures and launch a referendum that could overturn the municipality’s decision.
“It was getting a little late so we pulled out with a provision that we would voluntarily hold a referendum for the community to choose, and that’s what we did.” said Vogt.
Vogt discussed the importance of the community and their votes, saying the village council didn’t want to make that decision for the people.
“It’s up to the community to decide if that’s what they want. I just don’t want this to be a situation where things get pushed down people’s throats. said Vogt. “We wanted to give them the choice, let them make the decision and we’ll go from there, and likewise, if people don’t want to, then it’s the same thing, we’ll go from there and see what happens. ”
Municipalities can only refuse places of use and on-site dispensaries. They cannot refuse to allow individuals to use marijuana, as the possession and use of cannabis will remain legal statewide.
In Livingston County, the municipalities that have elected to allow both dispensaries and on-site consumption are: City and Village of Avon, City and Village of Caledonia, City of Groveland, City and the Village of Leicester, the Town and Village of Lima, the Town and Village of Livonia, Town and Village of Mount Morris, Town of Nunda, Town of Portage, Town of Sparta, Town of West Sparta and Town of York.
Municipalities that have opted out and will not allow dispensaries and consumption sites are Conesus Town, Dansville Village, Geneseo Town and Village, North Dansville Town, Nunda Village and of Ossian.
The village council of Nunda withdrew on July 12, then a referendum on September 7 confirmed the decision to withdraw.
The city of Springwater has not made a formal decision that would automatically include the city in the law, although the city’s status has not been confirmed by the Marijuana Tracker as of February 9.
A municipality may register after initially opting out. But he cannot withdraw after adhering to the law.
Membership does not guarantee the municipality a dispensary or retail site. It just allows the city or town to have some in the future and receive a portion of the tax revenue from marijuana sales.
The state has indicated that marijuana sales will be taxed at approximately 13%, of which approximately 9% will accrue to the state and 4% will be allocated locally. Of that 4%, municipalities will receive 75% based on their adult-use marijuana sales, and counties will receive the remaining 25%.