by Michael Nocella
The clock is ticking. All local governments in New York, from small towns and villages to the biggest cities, must decide whether to ban adult-use marijuana retail and consumption spaces in their municipalities by December 31.
Those local governments who do not actively opt in or out before the cutoff automatically default to opting in and be part of the retail cannabis market.
According to the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) that was passed in March, municipalities that do opt out before December 31 can always opt back in if they choose. There are also two categories to opt in or out of: “allow dispensaries” and “allow consumption sites.” Some municipalities have chosen to opt in for one, while opting out for the other.
To help keep track of all local governments’ cannabis decisions, the Rockefeller Institute of Government has been updating opt-ins and opt-outs in every county via its Opt-Out Tracker monitor. The monitor keeps tabs on for local press, town and city websites, the passage of local laws, and submissions of local laws to the Department of State. It is updated regularly but does not guarantee it reflects represent real-time official information.