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Village of Fredonia 4-0 vote means marijuana dispensaries will be allowed

The Fredonia Village Board made a decision to allow marijuana dispensaries.

FREDONIA, N.Y. — A resolution before the Fredonia Village Board was to opt-out of licensing and establishing retail cannabis dispensaries and on-site cannabis consumption establishments as authorized under Cannabis Law Article 4 within the Village of Fredonia. 

The board voted 4-0 against it which means, they will opt-in and allow the sale of marijuana within the village. 

Board trustee Evadawn Bashaw said, "The majority of us are in favor of dispensaries, so we thought, what a chicken thing to do to just leave it until December 31 and let it go. We thought, let's make the statement because we believe that there should be some opportunities for dispensaries."

Several residents addressed the board during the Monday evening meeting.

"I understand that marijuana is legal. I get it. And anybody in the state can use it. I get it. And I'm not. I'm not against that. I just want it to be done in a safe manner in our village," Jon Espersen said. "In my opinion, opting in at this point is it's not a good idea."

Nicole Syracuse said, "I fully support exploring recreational dispensaries within the village once all the pieces from the state are in place and we know exactly what we're dealing with."

SUNY Fredonia president sent a letter to mayor Douglas Essek expressing concern if the town decided to allow dispensaries. He wrote "marijuana is still considered an illegal drug in the eyes of the federal laws for which SUNY Fredonia must comply with federal laws including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the drug-free Workplace Act. Even though New York State was among several other states that have legalized marijuana, the fact of the matter remains that it is still considered an illegal drug by the government of the United States of America. Marijuana can not be permitted on campus in any form."

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management will issue licenses and set regulations for businesses.

They stipulate that cities, towns, villages "may pass a local law opting out of adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption businesses from operating in their jurisdiction."

Bashaw said, "There's only going to be one dispensary in this town and I think based on population. Read the law. New York control it anyway!"

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