By Rick Pezzullo—
The majority of the Greenburgh Town Board voted Monday to allow cannabis dispensaries to set up shop in designated areas in town, but gave the thumbs down to lounges.
Greenburgh joins the villages of Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Hastings-on-Hudson in permitting dispensaries. Sleepy Hollow is the only municipality in the rivertowns to give the go-ahead to consumption sites.
Supervisor Paul Feiner cast the only dissenting vote against the dispensaries, explaining he preferred to proceed cautiously and observe how other municipalities in Westchester handled the rules and regulations from the state surrounding dispensaries.
“I believe there is inadequate information available for the Town Board to make a prudent decision regarding allowing dispensaries to operate,” Feiner stated. “I suggested that until adequate info is available, we should opt out. If in the future the obstacles and issues regarding such dispensaries are addressed Greenburgh could have comfortably revisited the matter and with the input of our community organizations and their leadership, the Town Board could more intelligently decide if we should participate.”
Feiner also referenced comments Police Chief George Longworth made during a December 8 public hearing about “public safety concerns” law enforcement had with being unable to detect marijuana use at the scene of vehicular accidents.
“I don’t want to risk public safety. That’s my major concern,” Feiner said. “I won’t do anything that could possibly cost a life. To me, it’s not worth it.”
Councilman Francis Sheehan maintained allowing dispensaries would enable residents who use marijuana to have a higher quality product.
“There will be marijuana in the Town of Greenburgh. There’s nothing we can do to stop that,” Sheehan said. “I think we can handle this.”
The board stipulated any dispensaries should not be located in residential zones or mixed-use corridors, such as East Hartsdale Avenue, Route 119 or Central Avenue.
It also stated any revenue the town receives from adult use cannabis retail dispensaries will be earmarked to offset the cost of social services provided by the town, including drug treatment programs.