This article by Matthew Schweber and Julia Matlin was originally published on The Leaflet, a newsletter by Feuerstein Kulick.
Adult-use cannabis regimes throughout the country vary in the amount of local control they confer. In New York, power will largely reside in Albany. Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the “MRTA”), the Governor, the Assembly, and the Senate will appoint the Cannabis Control Board (the “CCB”) which (in coordination with the Office of Cannabis Management) will issue regulations, award licenses, and exercise oversight over the state’s cannabis program.
However, the MRTA left some of the authority to the municipalities. Between now and December 31, 2021, cities, towns, and villages can elect to “opt-out” of the MRTA. This means they can prohibit the establishment of retail dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges within their borders. Municipalities that fail to “opt-out” by December 31, 2021, will seal their participation in the MRTA’s licensing scheme indefinitely.
While it is still too early to say for sure which way the local political winds are blowing, many …