The City of Glen Cove has joined the list of Long Island municipalities opting out of allowing marijuana retail establishments.
Glen Cove’s City Council voted 7-0 to pass a local law opting out of retail sales under the state marijuana legalization law.
"We just feel that it’s not ready yet," Mayor Timothy Tenke said in an interview after last week’s vote, echoing a similar concern raised by officials across Long Island that municipalities are being asked to make decisions when the state’s regulatory structures are still being finalized. "There are so many things that have to be worked out and if you don’t opt out you’re in permanently."
The local law requests that the state Cannabis Control Board prohibit the establishment of cannabis retail dispensaries and onsite consumption licenses within the jurisdiction of Glen Cove.
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 once opted in, they cannot reverse that decision. The surrounding municipalities of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead towns also opted out this month.
Long Beach, the only other city on Long Island, was scheduled to vote Tuesday night on the issue.
The towns of East Hampton, Hempstead, Huntington, Islip, Shelter Island and Smithtown have opted out of the legislation. Riverhead officials narrowly voted to opt in, and Brookhaven, Babylon and Southampton towns have each opted in, 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 onsite consumption.
Tenke said his successor, Mayor-elect Pamela Panzenbeck, will be in a better place to look at the law in Glen Cove.
"Instead of rushing through at the end of my term, let the next administration look at it," Tenke said. "Maybe put the right ordinances and laws in place and then visit it with a better understanding of how it’s going to affect the community."