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Islandia trustees ban medical marijuana sales

Islandia Village Hall in Islandia is shown on

Islandia Village Hall in Islandia is shown on Aug. 12, 2015. Credit: Ian J. Stark

Islandia officials have taken a pre-emptive step in banning sales of medical marijuana in the village.

The board of trustees unanimously voted in favor of a law to amend zoning codes to ensure that marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes will not be allowed to be sold in Islandia.

"I believe in medical marijuana, but I don't believe in medical marijuana being distributed in stores," said Mayor Allan Dorman at last week's board meeting. "I think they should be distributed and handled in hospitals and through doctors. I personally don't feel that having a store in a community that you can just go up and buy marijuana either for medical purposes or any other purposes is a good thing for a neighborhood."

The law also prohibits the sale of equipment and materials for the use of marijuana.

Violators face a $2,500 fine for a first offense, up to a maximum of $5,000 for repeat offenses. No one from the public offered any comment on the proposed law, and the board passed it unanimously.

Under the new state law passed in 2014, approved patients will register with the state Department of Health and receive a patient identification card, which will allow them to receive medical marijuana from approved organizations such as hospitals or community health centers.

While Islandia is not one of the locations that have been publicly discussed as a potential home for any of the 20 approved dispensaries in the state, Dorman said he has already been approached by an unnamed company interested in building a dispensary in the village.

"They have anticipated this law getting legs and they're smelling money," he said.

In Riverhead, officials have cited concerns about traffic, proximity to the local high school and policing costs in their effort to establish a yearlong moratorium on dispensaries that would block Columbia Care NY LLC's plans to open one in the town.

A dispensary is also planned for North Hempstead, though the application by Bloomfield Industries Inc. has yet to come before the town board.

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