More than 400 New York municipalities have opted out of adult-use cannabis sales ahead of a Dec. 31 deadline to do so, with many officials deciding to hold off on hosting dispensaries until regulators provide more clarity on the program, according to an NBC New York report.
The state’s adult-use cannabis law allows local municipalities to opt out of hosting cannabis retailers and consumption lounges when sales start next year, although local governments cannot ban cannabis possession within their jurisdictions, NBC reported.
As of Dec. 10, 252 towns and 164 villages have opted out of hosting adult-use dispensaries, according to the news outlet, while 279 towns and 179 villages have opted out of hosting consumption sites.
These municipalities represent more than a quarter of New York’s towns and 31% of the state’s villages, NBC reported.
Only a few of New York’s cities have opted out, and none of the state’s largest cities have officially said no to cannabis sales, according to NBC.
After the Dec. 31 deadline for municipalities to opt out of the program, the Office of Cannabis Management will compile information on which localities are off-limits to cannabis license applicants, the news outlet reported.
“There’s no surprise that they’ve acted ahead of the deadline, and we expect some will chose to fully join the marketplace as we build a new, safe, regulated cannabis industry that protects public health and creates opportunity,” said Freeman Klopott, a spokesperson for the Office of Cannabis Management, told NBC.