WATERTOWN — It’s now town of Watertown residents’ turn to chime in about marijuana dispensaries.

The Town Board is expected to decide next week to opt out of the state law that legalizes pot shops.

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at the town hall, 22867 County Route 67, to allow residents a chance to comment about the issue.

If they disagree with opting out, residents could initiate a petition that would force a referendum for voters to decide if dispensaries and places of pot consumption should operate in the town.

But Town Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett said he doesn’t think residents will support a referendum, adding that the town consists of an older population “who doesn’t understand marijuana.”

If it ever went to a referendum and it passed, the town already has a plan on how to handle the issue of pot dispensaries opening in the town. The town can establish a zoning district where dispensaries can only operate, he said.

Town officials have picked an area near the town of Adams boundary, Mr. Bartlett said.

“It’s far from the city and the town,” he said.

The town’s local law is patterned after other legislation put together by nearby municipalities such as

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