Dansville sets marijuana dispensaries, consumption sites vote



The Village of Dansville will hold a referendum vote on Tuesday, Feb. 15 to determine whether residents want to continue to opt out of of marijuana dispensaries and/or consumption sites.

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DANSVILLE — The date is set.

The Village of Dansville will hold a referendum vote on Tuesday, Feb. 15 to determine whether residents want to continue to opt out of the establishment of marijuana dispensaries and/or consumption sites within the village limits.

The vote will be held in the North Dansville Town Hall auditorium at 14 Clara Barton Street in Dansville from noon to 9 p.m. Those casting votes must be registered voters of the Village of Dansville.

Two propositions will appear on the ballot:

  • Proposition #1 asks: “Should the Village of Dansville continue to opt-out of (prohibit) licensing and establishing retail cannabis dispensaries within the Village of Dansville?”
  • Proposition #2 asks: “Should the Village of Dansville continue to opt-out of (prohibit) licensing and establishing on-site cannabis consumption establishments within the Village of Dansville?”

The village board passed a local law Dec. 21 to opt out of dispensaries and consumption sites, but put a provision in place requiring a public referendum on the matter within 60 days.

Mayor Peter Vogt said the measure marked a compromise between the board and marijuana proponents who spoke during a public hearing on the village’s decision to opt-out.

New York signed legislation in 2021 legalizing cannabis consumption for adults 21 and over wherever tobacco products can be used, with the exception of driving a vehicle. The law also gave local municipalities the opportunity to opt out of allowing dispensaries and consumption sites. Municipalities that didn’t take action before Dec. 31 automatically opted in.

The town of North Dansville and Dansville’s neighbors to the south in the Canisteo Valley, including the city of Hornell, also opted out in December. Once a municipality opts in, it cannot opt out.

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Some Dansville residents encouraged the village board to opt in. Among them was Steve Litteer, who opened 4Fathers Organics in Dansville in January 2020. Currently specializing in hemp and CBD products, Litteer views marijuana sales as essential to the continuing viability of the Franklin Street business.

Litteer highlighted the potential economic gains the village may realize if it allows marijuana dispensaries and/or consumption sites within the village limits.

“Opting out will not stop people from selling cannabis in the village or people from consuming cannabis in the village,” Litteer said in a statement to the 4Fathers Organics Facebook page. “If there are no dispensaries or on-site consumption lounges, people will go to the illicit market and buy from John Doe down the street. John Doe won’t be collecting taxes for the State, County or Village on his cannabis sales. John Doe will not be reporting his cannabis income on his tax returns. John Doe will not be creating jobs for the Village. John Doe will not be lab testing his cannabis products to ensure they are safe to consume.”

The state has indicated marijuana sales will be taxed at a rate of around 13%, with 9% going to the state, 3% to the city, town or village where the sale is made and 1% to the county.

“In the event of an Opt Out, the same activity will be happening in the Village except the Village will receive no benefit from it,” Litteer wrote. “Prohibition of cannabis, in any form, creates more of a public safety issue than cannabis itself, period!”

Chris Potter can be reached at cpotter@gannett.com or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.



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