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Genesee County cannabis tracker: Thirteen municipalities opt out, five opt in, two to vote later this month

By Mike Pettinella

Thirteen of the 20 municipalities in Genesee County have decided to opt out of allowing cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption places.

According to information provided on a Marijuana Opt-Out Tracker compiled by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and phone calls made by The Batavian to town and village officials, this is the current tally:


Towns – Alabama, Alexander, Batavia, Bergen, Bethany, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield, Stafford.

Villages – Bergen, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield.


City – Batavia.

Towns – Darien, Pavilion, Pembroke.

Villages – Corfu.


Towns – Byron (vote on Dec. 27).

Villages – Alexander (vote on Dec. 28).

The state’s Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act was signed into law by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 31. It requires municipalities to either opt in or opt out by Dec. 31.

Communities opting out can opt in at a later date, but those opting in will not be permitted to opt out.

Cities, towns and villages that have opted out are subject to permissive referendum should residents wish to push for retail dispensaries, such as storefronts to buy products for home consumption and adult use consumption sites.

Economists estimate that legalized sales of marijuana products will become a $1 billion industry with expected annual revenue of $350 million and the creation of around 45,000 jobs.

Sales tax on cannabis will be 13 percent, with 9 percent going to the state, 3 percent to the host municipality and 1 percent to the county. Additionally, a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) excise tax will be imposed.

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