With the first retail licenses being issued for recreational marijuana shops on Long Island, when and where will they open? Newsday Associate Editor Joye Brown moderates a discussion with local experts to answer these questions and more.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said regulations for retail cannabis operations in the town will likely be implemented early next year, as town officials sift through proposed state rules for municipalities.

Southampton is among the four Long Island towns — along with Brookhaven, Babylon and Riverhead — to opt in to allow retail marijuana sales. The municipality was the only one of the four to not pass regulations on where and how cannabis businesses can operate, citing a need to wait for state guidance.

In a Newsday Live webinar Wednesday titled “Recreational Marijuana,” Schneiderman said that with proposed state regulations delivered in early November, town officials are looking to “reconcile our proposed zoning with those rules.”

“In terms of the town, first we have to put the zoning in place — and Southampton hasn’t done it yet — so that people know where they can build a dispensary, where they can locate a dispensary; and I do expect sometime in early 2023 that we will be in place,” Schneiderman said when asked about approved recreational dispensaries.

Schneiderman was joined on the panel by attorney Daniel Johnston, founder and general counsel for Gotham Growth Corp. in Hauppauge, a company that plans to process cannabis. 

Riverhead, Babylon and Brookhaven towns have implemented regulations to keep cannabis businesses away from schools, libraries, parks, playgrounds, childcare centers, youth organizations, dance studios, batting cages, gymnasiums or other venues where minors congregate. Schneiderman said Southampton will follow suit. Babylon and Brookhaven’s regulations limit weed businesses to commercial or light-industrial areas.

The proposed state regulations have also incorporated 500 foot setbacks from recreational marijuana businesses and will also limit hours of operation. Johnston emphasized that these proposed laws are subject to a comment period, which means they are not enforceable yet.

“I think in terms of Southampton rules, we may go beyond some of those [state] regulations,” Schneiderman said. “You know we’re concerned about traffic impacts and other impacts, so we can’t be less restrictive than New York State and, in some cases, we can’t be more restrictive.”

Last month, the state granted seven regional retail licenses for applicants to open recreational marijuana shops on Long Island. The applicants were granted licenses under New York’s conditional license program, which is designed to prioritize New Yorkers directly impacted by the inequitable enforcement of old marijuana laws. Newsday reported this month that one of the licensees is already scoping out a retail location in Southampton.

While securing and opening a storefront, business owners will be allowed to deliver products to customers.

Schneiderman noted that sales tax will be collected by the municipality where the dispensary is located. He said Southampton’s decision to opt in was made easier because of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation choosing to sell recreational cannabis.

“By my calculations, it could easily be $1 million of additional revenue for a relatively small town, and that money could be used to address issues that people think may relate to recreational marijuana.”

He said once the dispensaries are in the communities, other towns may follow suit.

“I think every elected official, every supervisor, wants to try to keep property taxes low, so non-property tax matters,” Schneiderman said. “I think once you see dispensaries open and you don’t have the problems associated with it, whether it’s crime or traffic, I think that the public in general with warm to the idea.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said regulations for retail cannabis operations in the town will likely be implemented early next year, as town officials sift through proposed state rules for municipalities.

Southampton is among the four Long Island towns — along with Brookhaven, Babylon and Riverhead — to opt in to allow retail marijuana sales. The municipality was the only one of the four to not pass regulations on where and how cannabis businesses can operate, citing a need to wait for state guidance.

In a Newsday Live webinar Wednesday titled “Recreational Marijuana,” Schneiderman said that with proposed state regulations delivered in early November, town officials are looking to “reconcile our proposed zoning with those rules.”

“In terms of the town, first we have to put the zoning in place — and Southampton hasn’t done it yet — so that people know where they can build a dispensary, where they can locate a dispensary; and I do expect sometime in early 2023 that we will be in place,” Schneiderman said when asked about approved recreational dispensaries.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Regulations for retail cannabis businesses will likely be implemented in early 2023, said  Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.
  • New York State has granted seven regional retail licenses for applicants to open recreational marijuana shops on Long Island. One licensee is scouting a potential location in Southampton, Newsday has reported.
  • Sales tax will be collected by the municipality where the dispensary is located. Deliveries may be accessible before storefronts are established.

Schneiderman was joined on the panel by attorney Daniel Johnston, founder and general counsel for Gotham Growth Corp. in Hauppauge, a company that plans to process cannabis. 

Riverhead, Babylon and Brookhaven towns have implemented regulations to keep cannabis businesses away from schools, libraries, parks, playgrounds, childcare centers, youth organizations, dance studios, batting cages, gymnasiums or other venues where minors congregate. Schneiderman said Southampton will follow suit. Babylon and Brookhaven’s regulations limit weed businesses to commercial or light-industrial areas.

The proposed state regulations have also incorporated 500 foot setbacks from recreational marijuana businesses and will also limit hours of operation. Johnston emphasized that these proposed laws are subject to a comment period, which means they are not enforceable yet.

“I think in terms of Southampton rules, we may go beyond some of those [state] regulations,” Schneiderman said. “You know we’re concerned about traffic impacts and other impacts, so we can’t be less restrictive than New York State and, in some cases, we can’t be more restrictive.”

Last month, the state granted seven regional retail licenses for applicants to open recreational marijuana shops on Long Island. The applicants were granted licenses under New York’s conditional license program, which is designed to prioritize New Yorkers directly impacted by the inequitable enforcement of old marijuana laws. Newsday reported this month that one of the licensees is already scoping out a retail location in Southampton.

While securing and opening a storefront, business owners will be allowed to deliver products to customers.

Schneiderman noted that sales tax will be collected by the municipality where the dispensary is located. He said Southampton’s decision to opt in was made easier because of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation choosing to sell recreational cannabis.

“By my calculations, it could easily be $1 million of additional revenue for a relatively small town, and that money could be used to address issues that people think may relate to recreational marijuana.”

He said once the dispensaries are in the communities, other towns may follow suit.

“I think every elected official, every supervisor, wants to try to keep property taxes low, so non-property tax matters,” Schneiderman said. “I think once you see dispensaries open and you don’t have the problems associated with it, whether it’s crime or traffic, I think that the public in general with warm to the idea.”

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