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Irvington Board Decides To Opt Out of Selling Cannabis in 2022

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October 18, 2021

By Barrett Seaman —

At its Oct. 18 regular meeting, the Irvington Board of Trustees agreed informally that it would officially opt out of selling — either in a dispensary or a consumption facility — marijuana — at least in the first round, which would permit sales in 2022.

Under the New York State law that legalized cannabis as of last March, every municipality in the state has the option to accept or decline applications to open sales facilities in its jurisdiction. By opting out now, Irvington still has the right to reconsider permitting cannabis sales facilities at a later date, but through a re-application process.

Opting out also precludes the village from benefitting from the three percent portion of the total 13 percent sales and excise taxes that would have been collected within the village. As Trustee Larry Lonky observed during the Oct. 18 meeting, the “financial argument” was not enough to be persuasive.

The decision is not final until the board takes it up on Nov. 2, and the public hearing of the topic will remain open until then. But as Mayor Brian Smith noted on Oct. 18, the board had heard arguments during five separate public hearings, and opinions expressed through mail or email had been running 90-to-10 in favor of opting out. That is not likely to change over the next 14 days.

How other rivertowns will vote has been unfolding in recent weeks. As Mayor Smith indicated, Hastings-on-Hudson appears poised to opt in and Dobbs Ferry “is leaning that way.” Sleepy Hollow’s trustees appear inclined to opt in by virtue of not proactively opting out, one of the choices available to municipalities. Tarrytown just postponed another public forum that had been scheduled for Oct. 26 in hopes of gathering more data. By then, the decisions of neighboring villages may become a factor in how trustees vote, though how is not yet clear.

 

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