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Dear Pine Plains 7.30.21


Dear Pine Plains,

It’s time to talk about the new Marijuana Law. We are being pressured by the Governor to make a decision quickly on what we want to allow to happen in Town as regards sales and use. So I will try to simplify it as best I can.

In a nutshell, the Town has to make a decision as to whether or not to allow marijuana to be a) consumed in specifically licensed places (the way bars do alcohol); and b) sold in a dispensary, which would be regulated exactly like our liquor store. Our zoning would regulate where and what hours these entities would be open.

Sales tax collected on marijuana will be regulated at about 9% with 4% given back to the Town.

The Town Board would like your input on this subject.  At the very least, for now please write to me at and give me your two cents. I will collect the emails and pass them along. There is a power-point prepared by the Association of Towns attached at the bottom of this letter to further explain the new law and its requirements. Please stay tuned for further news on this.

On September 11th, the Stanford Fire Company will present a 20-year Memorial Tribute to the victims of  9/11/2001.
At 8:46am, a  pre-recorded, continuous-loop tape including the names of all 2977 lost souls, voiced by local students and community members,  will begin.    At 7pm, a brief ceremony culminating with the illumination of a candle below each of the 2977 flags, is scheduled. There will be an Honor Guard posted on site throughout the day.  If any local organization would like to participate in this show of respect,  please contact Ed Zick at 845-240-4044.

Every day the new Town Park gets better and better. Sue Robertson and her crew are doing a fantastic job with the guidance of an equally fantastic Town Beautification Committee. It looks like the fountain being designed and built by Tim Jones will be installed sometime next week.

We lost two more really important citizens of Pine Plains in the last two weeks—Rick Jackson and Antonina Mirto. Both they and their families have made huge contributions to the Town and we mourn their passing. Preserving their history feels particularly important to the future of the Town right now.

Don’t forget to attend the last scoping meeting for the Hudson Valley Project which takes place tomorrow, Saturday the 31st, at the high school. You can arrive at 9am to view maps and ask questions of the planners for the project. You are invited to ask for impacts to be studied for the DEIS. The meeting starts at 10am.

We are back to CDC Guidelines at Town Hall. If you are unvaccinated, please wear a mask here. If you are vaccinated and worried, wear a mask. Be careful out there! We want everything to remain open and with your help, we can do this.

Sunday begins International Clown Week! Wear your red noses over your masks and proudly, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud

Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act
Presented by
Sarah Brancatella, Counsel & Legislative Director
Topics for Today
General overview of MRT
State structure

Different types of licenses and how they interact with towns Personal

Social equity issues

  • Not getting in the weeds


MRT Overall

Legislates three different categories of products

  1. Adult Use Cannabis
  2. Medical Cannabis

Hemp / Cannabinoid Hemp (aka CBD)’ Significant changes to the Penal Code
‘ Significant changes to Tax Law
‘ Changes to Public Health Law

The Basics (Colloquially)

THC — the stuff that gets you high (technically a compound found in a cannabis plant)

Cannabis — Cannabis plant with THC level above.03 (technically 3 different types of cannabis plants)
Hemp- Has THC level below .03 (technically a type of cannabis plant – specifically Cannabis Sativa L) Not legal definitions

Control Board

Cannabis Control Board (CCB)
5 member board; chairperson and 2 others appointed by

Gov; 1 by Senate president; 1 by Assembly Speaker Duties include
Grant/revoke/limit licenses (CL
Draft regulations (CL              13)
Prepare an annual report basically on how things are going (CL
Full list Cannabis Law 10 (1)-(23)

Office of Cannabis Management

Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) established within Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (CL 8)

Executive Director appointed by CCB (CL 9)

  • Basic function is to assist CCB, review applications and make recommendations to the CCM on license applications
  • Maintain records and perform inspections

Full list on CL 11
Equity Officer and Advisory Board
State Equity Officer (CL 12)

  • Help CCM and OCM develop and implement social equity plan (more on that later)
  • Establish public education programming for certain communities on licensing process

State Cannabis Advisory Board     14)

13-member board: gov has 7 appointments, senate leader -3, assembly leader — 3

  • Ex officio reps from Ag and Markets, DEC, DOL, Office of Children and Family Services, DOH, DOE, Division of Housing and Community Renewal
  • Advise and issue recommendations on medical, adult use, and hemp
  • Administer community grants reinvestment fund (more on that later) AOT

Medical Cannabis

Patients can be certified by a practitioner that patient has a condition would benefit from medical cannabis      30)

Conditions defined — includes cancer, MS,Parkinson’s, PTSD, and “any other condition certified by a practitioner” (CL 3[18])
OCM will issue registry identification cards to patients or designated caregivers (CL 32)

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis distributed by “registered organizations” (CL 34)
Registered organizations may also be licensed to sell adult-use (CL 39)

Difference between medical cannabis and adult use cannabis? Nothing from a chemical standpoint  Patient can grow more plants at home
Can be under 21
Considered a “disability” for certain purposes

Adult Use Cannabis

Multiple different types of adult use licenses


 Retail Dispensary


  • On-site consumption  And more !

Retail Dispensary & On Site Consumption — Local Opt Out
‘ Town can adopt a local law (applicable outside village) opting out of allowing retail dispensaries and/or on-site consumption sites
‘ Must be adopted before 12/31/21

  • Subject to a permissive referendum under Municipal Home Rule Law 24 (CL 131


Retail Dispensary & On Site Consumption — Local Regulations

Town can adopt local laws placing restrictions on time/place/manner of retail dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments
Cannot make operation “unreasonably impracticable” as determined by CCM
• Preempted from regulating anything else or any other type of license / establishment
CL 131 (2)

Retail Dispensary & On Site Consumption

Notice continued…
Provides info like business name and DBA, address of establishment, what the application is for
(including transferring of license or license renewal  Muni has the option to submit an opinion for or against a license
Opinion becomes part of the official application record
Board must respond to muni with an explanation of how the opinion was considered in granting or denying the application

/ 22

Retail Dispensary & On Site Consumption

Cannot be within 500 feet of school or 200 feet house of worship (CL 7616]; 77[3])
Only sold to 21+; cannot sell to visibly intoxicated person (CL 85)

Notice to municipalities        76) Between 270 and 30 days before applying for a license, retail or on-site applicant has to notify municipality of intention to file
Goes to town clerk (or village if in village)  Done via certified mail, overnight delivery, or personal delivery

Taxing Cannabis

  • In addition to licensing fees etc. new series of taxes imposed


Some taxes based on total amount of THC in a product that a distributor sells to a retail establishment (see e.g. Tax Law 493 [a]

  • Towns care about the 4 0 0 tax imposed on sales from retail dispensaries to consumer (Tax Law 493 [c])


Taxing Cannabis


‘ Tax and Finance collects tax, distributes to comptroller, comptroller distributes to counties, counties distribute to towns/cities/villages (Tax Law 25 0 0 of funds stay with county; 75 0 0 remaining distributed to towns, cities, and villages in proportion to sales from retail dispensaries with jurisdiction

Taxing Cannabis


If a town and village both allow retail sales within jurisdiction and the dispensary is in the village then the money will be distributed in accordance with an agreement between the town and village Default is 50/50 split if no agreement
County must distribute money quarterly no later than 30 days after getting it from Comptroller
Tax Law 496-b[bl [21

Personal Cultivation and Possession

21 and older can have 30z of cannabis or up to
24g concentrated cannabis on person (Penal Law 222.05)

Individual can grow 3 mature plants and 3 immature plants Cannot have more than 12 plants per property
Take reasonable steps to ensure under 21 does not have access (Penal Law 222.15)
Personal Cultivation

Town can enact laws to “reasonably regulate the actions and conduct of [personal cultivation] ”  Violation of local law cannot exceed $200 civil penalty Cannot prohibit personal cultivation
Home growth not authorized until 18 months after the opening of the first adult-use dispensaries
OCM will also issue regulations on personal cultivation (Penal Law 222.15[7])
Where can you smoke?
Can prohibit smoking cannabis where smoking is prohibited (CL 2)

Smoking prohibited in certain areas in accordance with Public Health Law Article 13-e

  • Bars, public transportation etc.
  • NOT allowed to smoke in vehicles

Town can prohibit smoking overall in space like town park or town buildings

What about hemp?
Cannabis Law Article 4 regulates manufacturing and sale of cannabinoid hemp products (products containing cannabidiol or “CBD”)
OCM will implement basic consumer protections to ensure cannabinoid hemp products are properly manufactured, laboratory tested and accurately labeled
Have to apply for a license to sell CBD (Cannabis Law

Social Equity Programs

Social equity program will be put together by
Social Equity Officer / CCB / OCM
Prioritize applications from applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement, women, minorities, distressed farmers etc. (CL 87)
After money taken out to run cannabis program 40 0 0 of remaining money goes to state lottery program for grants for school districts
200 0 to drug treatment and public education fund
400 0 to community grants reinvestment fund
State Finance Law 99-kk