The board voted unanimously to opt out of a local law, which would have permitted the sale of cannabis in the village. Though it was open for public comment, nobody came to speak on the legislation and it passed without debate.
“It is the intent of this local law to opt the village of Bellport out of hosting retail cannabis dispensaries and on-site cannabis consumption establishments within its boundaries,” read the local law filing, addressed to the New York State Department of State in Albany.
Mayor Ray Fell called on the village’s attorney to further clarify what the law would and wouldn’t mean for village residents.
“It doesn’t mean you can’t smoke in your own home or grow in your own backyard, as per the restrictions of the state law; it just means you can’t do it on Main Street,” said village attorney David Moran.
Fell said the board was convinced they should opt out when they realized they’d be permitted to change their minds at a later date. However, once a municipality opts in, they are no longer permitted to opt out, he said.
“If you opt in, you can’t opt back out,” Fell explained.
Opting out means there will be no lounges in the village where people can gather to smoke cannabis, nor will there be places where people can buy it. Opting out also means they can decide to opt in at any point in the future.
Once the paperwork is filed with NYSDOS, it is official.