SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — A public session on topics dealing with marijuana legalization has been scheduled, according to Police Chief Joseph Sinagra.
Sinagra sent out an email announcement Wednesday, Oct. 20, telling of the Monday, Oct. 25, public meeting at the Kiwanis Ice Arena, 8 Small World Ave., from 7 to 9 p.m.
The session will include presenters David C. Holland of the New York City Cannabis Association; Martha McDermott, a certified mediator, cannabis educator, advocate, and parent; Ruben J. Lindo, chief executive officer of Phoenix Nutraceutical, Inc., Blak Mar Farms, LLC and Herbn Couture; Saugerties Supervisor Fred Costello; Village Mayor William Murphy; and Sinagra.
In June, Costello said Saugerties would not opt out of allowing marijuana retailers in the community.
State legislators approved, and then Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed, New York’s “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” in March. The law, which allows recreational pot use by people 21 and older, takes full effect in January 2022. The law allows municipalities to opt out of allowing dispensaries within their borders, but those that go that route would not benefit from revenues generated by the shops. (Municipalities that do opt out can opt back in at any time.)
The law places a 13% excise tax on cannabis sales, with portions going to municipalities that host retail dispensaries. Costello estimated that having two or three dispensaries in Saugerties could generate $50,000 to $60,000 in revenue for the town.
In April, Sinagra directed his officers not to take action against anyone under age 21 who appeared to be in violation of current state laws regarding marijuana possession.
Sinagra, whose department covers both the town and village of Saugerties, told the Village Board the state’s new marijuana law does not include language that authorizes police involvement in what amounts to a noncriminal offense.