Dunkirk opts for cannabis | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo submitted Members of the Dunkirk Common Council are pictured at a meeting earlier this year. From left to right: Don Williams Jr., Martin Bamonto, James Stoyle and Nancy Nichols.

The Dunkirk Common Council signaled to the state that it would like to be considered for a marijuana dispensary, using a process that differed markedly from that of neighboring Fredonia, although the end result was the same.

Each New York City Municipality must decide before December 31 “opt out” plans for the placement of state-run cannabis sales sites. In Dunkirk, the council decided on Tuesday to spend a “Register” resolution to signal the town’s interest in a store or smokehouse. This was not legally necessary, as the failure to obtain a “opt out” resolution by December 31st is basically the same as a “Register”.

The board vote on Tuesday was 4-1, with Jim Stoyle voting “no.” Marty Bamonto, Nancy Nichols, Paul VanDenVouver and Don Williams voted “Yes.”

The resolution, sponsored by Nichols and Williams, notes that the board need only “opt out” if he wants. “However,” the resolution indicates, “After considering the pros and cons of the potential tax revenues associated with the marijuana trade, and the city having the capacity to pass local laws and regulations governing when, where and how dispensaries operate retail cannabis for authorized adults and / or on-site consumption sites with the city administration, this council wishes to affirm its decision to join in an affirmative manner.

The resolution also says that the regulatory framework New York created for cannabis will be similar to the state’s current management of alcohol, which includes a liquor law and an alcoholic beverage control law.

Dunkirk’s handling of the issue of legalized cannabis was very different from that of Fredonia. There were no public hearings and few comments on this subject from citizens during council meetings in Dunkirk. At Fredonia, the issue was much more debated, with a busy community forum and a board hearing.

The trustees of Fredonia eventually considered a “opt out” resolution, which they rejected last month. They decided to do nothing “Register” statement, because the rejection of the “opt out” is essentially the same thing.

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