Lindenhurst Village launches survey of retail marijuana sales, sites to gauge residents’ opinions
The Village of Lindenhurst is trying to gauge residents’ views on retail and recreational marijuana use sites using an online survey, but the mayor says that may not suffice.
The village launched the investigation on August 10 in anticipation of having to decide whether to opt out of the state’s new marijuana law, which legalizes the possession, sale, and cultivation of recreational marijuana for any person. person 21 years of age and over.
By law, a municipality cannot prohibit residents from consuming or cultivating marijuana, but can opt out of retail and consumption sites if it passes a law to opt out by December 31. A municipality that withdraws can register at a later date. .
Mayor Mike Lavorata said he wanted to step down, but was looking to see how residents were feeling.
“I know what I want to do but I represent the people,” said Lavorata. “I suspect Lindenhurst probably won’t be in favor of this.”
State officials estimate that marijuana will generate $ 350 million in annual revenue. There will be a 13% retail sales tax, of which local municipalities will receive 3%. Lavorata said he estimated Lindenhurst would end up seeing only around $ 30,000.
“I don’t see it worth it to undo all the good we’ve done downtown,” he said. “If I were to make $ 1 million a year it might be a little harder for me to say no.”
The survey consists of two questions, one on retail sites and the other on whether the use of marijuana should be allowed in public spaces, giving the example of restaurants, bars and parks.
“I want people to understand that there are consequences to having this situation because if you allow dispensaries, how are you going to tell people not to smoke?” he said.
Some villages, such as Northport, have already separately banned the use of marijuana in public spaces such as parks.
Lavorata had said he wanted to leave the online survey open for a month, but last week a notice on the village’s Facebook page announced that the survey would end on August 20. Lavorata said his administration made the decision but “told them to keep it going a bit longer.” Friday afternoon, the survey did not take answers.
Lavorata called the current results, which are split 50/50 over retail sales, “a bit skewed”. He said he could tell that older residents aren’t taking the survey because they’re not on Facebook. He has said he will offer mailed polls and possibly step down, but then hold a referendum on the March village ballot.
“I think this is not a good investigation,” Lavorata said. “If it’s that close without the older people, I think with the older people it’s going to be blown away.”