KINGSTON, NY — Aldermen have agreed to move forward with the creation of an advisory group that could provide insight into the local impacts of state legalization of marijuana.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the Common Council voted 7-0 to pass a resolution authorizing the creation of a nine-member task force on marijuana regulation and taxation. The task force would help guide the city in its limited authority over when, where and how cannabis retail operations, according to the information provided. The group would also amplify community voices regarding law enforcement concerns and goals for how revenues from the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act could be reinvested to achieve social equity goals. of the law.
The working group is to meet periodically over the course of a year, although its term of service may be extended.
Alderman Reynolds Scott-Childress, D-Ward 3, and Alderman Naimah Muhammad, D-Ward 5, were absent from the meeting.
Majority Leader Rita Worthington, D-Ward 4, said the task force will be made up of nine community members with significant ties to the City of Kingston. She said six of the members would be appointed by the council, while the other three would be appointed by the mayor. Members would be chosen after completing an application, which would be posted on the city’s website, Worthington said.
The task force would gather community input regarding the state’s continued development of regulation, the creation of new business opportunities and the revision of long-standing marijuana law enforcement policies, said said Worthington.
“And so I think that’s very important,” Worthington said. “I’m glad the city is taking proactive steps to address some of these issues that may eventually arise.”
The state legalized the recreational use of marijuana in March 2021 and gave cities and towns across the state until December 31 of that year to refuse to allow pot shops and/or parlors. But while municipalities could ban on-site sales and consumption within their borders, they could not ban businesses that grow, process or transport cannabis.
The city has not refused to allow licenses for local dispensaries and on-site cannabis use within city limits.