Marijuana, pot, weed, whatever you want to call it, it’s coming to Brockport. In a four-to-one vote, the Brockport Board of Trustees allowed licensed dispensaries to begin selling marijuana legally as of April 1, 2022. The vote has been passed, and now its just a matter of time before shops start popping up.
Marijuana may only be sold to those over 21, and the initial legalization will only be for medicinal purposes. Recreational sale is not slated to begin until the spring of 2023.
The Board of Trustees voted three-to-two in favor of hosting marijuana lounges in the town of Brockport. Marijuana lounges are places where those who can legally consume the product can do so safely and within the boundaries of the law.
The surrounding towns of Sweden and Gates both voted against the proposition, which could drive more business to the Brockport community, as well as creating new jobs.
Mayor Margaret Blackman was a driving force behind legalization in the community.
“We did our homework,” Blackman said. I read all 128 pages of the law, twice, put material together in a PowerPoint presentation for a public hearing on the legalization of cannabis. We held the hearing, answered questions, held village workshops with police and code enforcement to discuss the implications of legalization.”
The legalization of marijuana is a controversial issue, but Brockport is expanding its horizons to a new industry. The town is already host to multiple smoke shops, and they may decide to include legal marijuana in their business following the board’s decision to legalize the sale of it.
The state of New York voted in July 2014 to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. In 2021, the state voted to allow recreational use for those over 21, and gives them the legal right to possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and only up to 24 grams of concentrate. Users can also possess up to five ounces of cannabis in their homes, as long as it is stored safely.
Additionally, those who are currently incarcerated for the sale of marijuana outside the boundaries of the law will have their records wiped clean.
Blackman also spoke with other SUNY schools and parents of students prior to the vote to gauge their opinions.
“We looked into what other SUNY municipalities were doing and asked SUNY Brockport if parents of current and prospective parents had raised issues. The answer was no. We took a vote on December 6 and voted to opt in for both dispensaries and places of consumption,” Blackman said.
The same laws that apply to smoking tobacco will apply to marijuana. For example, school grounds, businesses, and anywhere there is a no smoking sign will apply to marijuana.
Most importantly, those who decide to consume marijuana may not do so in their car, but police can not use the smell of it as reasonable cause to search the driver’s vehicle that is not in plain sight to the officer.
Following years of debate and controversy, New York is finally prepared to move forward with the legalization of the sale of marijuana. The industry is expected to drive large amounts of business to the state as a whole and the communities in which the sale is legal, like Brockport.
“It’s legal, it’s all around us, why shouldn’t we benefit from the tax income however small it might be? I haven’t seen any backlash yet. I doubt there will be much,” Blackman said.
So whatever you call it, it’s here to stay.