The Long Beach City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to opt-out...

The Long Beach City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to opt-out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and onsite consumption.   Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday night to opt out of allowing retail marijuana establishments and commercial consumption sites.

The council voted 5-0, making it the latest Long Island municipality to reject the licensing and establishment of marijuana dispensaries and places to consume it.

"Opting out gives the city much more flexibility on what it can do," City Council President John Bendo said during the meeting.

Judi Vining, director of Long Beach Aware, a drug and alcohol prevention group, director praised the city council's decision.

"I want to thank all of you, the council, for making what was a difficult, but important step in protecting our city …" Vining said after the vote. "This is going to be a very long process and very smart of all of you to take this position, so that we can all wait and see what is coming down from Albany."

Before opting out of allowing the legal sale and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over, Long Beach held two public hearings to gather input from the community on the issue.

Under the state’s marijuana legalization law, municipalities have until Dec. 31 to opt out, or they are permanently opted in by default. Municipalities can opt in at any time in the future but cannot reverse that decision.

Glen Cove and the towns of East Hampton, Hempstead, Huntington, Islip, North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Shelter Island and Smithtown have opted out of the legislation. Riverhead officials narrowly voted to opt in. Babylon, Brookhaven and Southampton towns have also opted in, but either by failing to schedule a public hearing or deciding not to take a vote on the matter.

Officials in Southold Town are scheduled to vote Dec. 28 on whether or not to allow sales and on-site consumption.

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