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Islip to consider moratorium on pot sales

Town officials will have a public hearing next month to discuss a proposed one-year delay on the sale of legal recreational marijuana.

Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter talks to a supporter

Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter talks to a supporter after giving her state of town address Tuesday.  Photo Credit: James Carbone

Islip Town is the latest municipality on Long Island to consider taking steps to curb the legal sale of marijuana.

Town board members voted 5-0 Tuesday to hold a public hearing April 16 to consider adopting a law placing a one-year moratorium on businesses selling pot for recreational use.

“There is still too much that we don’t know. So, like other townships, I’ll be requesting a moratorium on the sale or use of recreational marijuana,” Supervisor Angie Carpenter said Tuesday morning during a speech on the state of the town.

A few hours later, Islip councilors approved holding the public hearing next month. A moratorium will allow the town a year to review zoning and siting issues and to draft proposed laws, according to the resolution.

Islip's announcement came on the same day that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed that his proposal to legalize marijuana will not be part of the proposed state budget. His proposal would have allowed counties and cities with more than 100,000 residents to opt out.

Cuomo and legislative leaders said pot legalization could still be worked out after the budget is passed and before the end of the legislative session in June. 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone recently said he is considering legislation to allow the county to opt out of legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana. 

The measure has a one-year sunset provision that would make marijuana legal after a year, unless the county legislature votes to continue the ban. 

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran also announced her opposition to legalization of marijuana sales. Curran said she would pursue opt-out legislation for Nassau if the state legalizes recreational pot.

The Town of North Hempstead already has approved a prohibition on retail marijuana sales.

Mineola has voted to confine retail sales to its light industrial section, where auto body shops and manufacturing companies are located, and away from the main traffic corridor on Jericho Turnpike.

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