City of Orchard Park rezons cannabis stores

Municipalities that have chosen to “list up” can use zoning laws and other reasonable restrictions to regulate cannabis operations, which Orchard Park executives have done.

ORCHARD PARK, NY — Under New York State law, municipalities had until the end of 2021 to join or opt out of adult-use marijuana dispensaries.

Now that the deadline has passed, municipalities that have opted in can use zoning laws and other reasonable restrictions to regulate cannabis operations, which the City of Orchard Park did Wednesday night.

After postponing the vote last month, the city council officially passed a new zoning law that would change and limit where cannabis dispensaries can operate in the city. Under the new law, dispensaries will operate in the “Industrial Zone,” also known as “Zone I,” and will be limited to a total of five lots in the city.

When the time came, no member of the community took the microphone to oppose or support the change before the council voted.

Supervisor Gene Majchrzak says that decision was a good compromise.

“Our ‘I Zone’ is different,” Majchrzak said. “There are a number of open lots that retail stores could be on, and there are also most likely open office spaces where they could be.”

But not all board members agree with this decision, or with the way it was made.

Councilman Conor Flynn has made his opposition to the process very clear and believes, ultimately, the city and ratepayers will end up paying for this decision.

“No records have been submitted, and no records have been submitted to show that we have actually done the sufficient study required by law to enact a zoning change. This could also be challenged with the Board of Control cannabis,” Flynn said.

“After the decision date of December 31 last year where we did not withdraw from cannabis dispensaries, now that that date has passed we cannot pass a law that would make it unreasonably impossible to locate a dispensary of cannabis in town, which is exactly what the law does.”

If this change is effective immediately, the State has not yet given the green light to the opening of the dispensaries. Some say it could happen later this year, most likely in early 2023.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management says, “The Office will be developing rules and regulations for the adult use industry. Please check back soon.”

Comments are closed.