Cooperstown: In on dispensaries, out on on-site “consumption lounges.”

By not voting on a measure that would find the village opting out of allowing retail marijuana dispensaries, trustees defaulted on December 20 to an automatic opt in that would allow the siting of dispensaries within village limits once New York State establishes its regulatory framework.

Separating dispensaries from on-site “consumption lounges,” the Board voted 5-2 to opt out of permitting locations within the village where smokers could legally inhale pot in a public indoor space. Trustees Hanna Bergene and Joseph Membrino cast their votes against the opt-out.

The measure originally before the Board would have required a vote to opt out of dispensaries “and/or” lounges; instead, trustees Monday night had the opportunity to cast one vote on lounges and a separate vote on dispensaries. With the Board’s unanimous consent, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh decoupled lounges and dispensaries, creating two discrete measures for the trustees’ consideration.

No trustee seconded the Mayor’s motion to bring the dispensary measure to a full vote — tabling the measure and defaulting to the ‘opt-in’ provided under the 2021 state law should a locality take no vote to affirmatively opt-out.

Mayor Tillapaugh recommended splitting lounges from dispensaries

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