ATHENS — The village board is considering whether to opt in or opt out of permitting marijuana dispensaries.
Officials agreed to create a committee by the Aug. 11 meeting that would weigh the pros and cons of cannabis outlets in the village.
The move comes as communities across the Twin Counties consider the issue. The deadline to opt out is Dec. 31. If the municipality does not opt out, dispensaries would be automatically permitted in the community.
Village officials expressed diverse viewpoints on the issue.
“I don’t know if we want to opt out,” Mayor Amy Serrago said. “I have mixed feelings because the money would be good.”
Village Trustee Joshua Lipsman noted cannabis is now a legal product in New York state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation March 31 legalizing recreational adult-use marijuana.
But there are other issues to consider, Serrago said.
“It’s a legal product, but the traffic in the village — that’s what I worry about,” she said.
There are steps the village can take to place parameters on how dispensaries are operated in the community, village attorney Tal Rappleyea said.
“If you opt in, then you have to look at how do we mitigate those potential issues,” Rappleyea said. “What zoning would you put