FREWSBURG — The Carroll Town Board has passed a local law to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites to operate in the municipality.
Town residents, however, will most likely be given the final word on the matter.
Russell Payne, town supervisor, told The Post-Journal the board passed the local law Wednesday after holding a public hearing. He said there was a “large crowd” of about 50 people who attended the meeting, with the majority of them against the idea of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites in the town.
“The crowd was behind what the town of Carroll ended up doing and this is opting out,” he said.
Even though the board passed the local law, a permissive referendum could be held to overturn the opt out decision. Payne said the board wants to give the final say to the residents of the town. He said, at a future meeting, it’s highly likely the board will pass a resolution to host a permissive referendum on the local law. Even if the town doesn’t pass a permissive referendum resolution, a town resident could circulate a petition to have a vote to overturn the local law.
“I think (town residents) would rather have the town initiate the referendum,” he said. “(Town residents) want to have a say on the issue and I agree with that.”
Payne said it’s not known when the permissive referendum vote might happen, but it most likely won’t happen during the November general election because there isn’t enough time to have it placed on the ballot. However, once the permissive referendum is on the ballot, he believes it will be voted down.
“During the meeting, I did a show of hands poll and very few people are in favor of having marijuana dispensaries,” he said.
In other business:
¯ Because of the new state law allowing the recreational use of marijuana, the board passed a new local law prohibiting the use of tobacco, tobacco products, electric cigarettes, cannabis and herbal cigarettes at parks and on town-owned property and in town-owned vehicles. Payne said the new local law more clearly defines that the use of marijuana is not permitted in parks, on town-owned property or in town-owned vehicles.
¯ The board also passed a solar energy local law that provides regulations on solar panel use in the town. Payne said there is no large solar farm project being proposed in the town currently. However, he said the law will protect the town in the future from any proposed projects. He added the Carroll Planning Board approved the local law earlier this week.
“It provides the stipulations as far as what you can do,” he said. “The law was designed by the town attorney, Paul Webb, and he has done the same service for other local townships.”
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