Editorial: In six years, a Town Board shifts dramatically on marijuana viewPosted by On


When New York State approved a medical marijuana dispensary in Riverhead in August 2015, the Town Board’s immediate response was to consider enacting a moratorium that would effectively serve as a roadblock.

Even before the state’s approval, the potential facility, slated for East Main Street, faced immense scrutiny. There were concerns about its location and whether it was too close to schools. A former councilman worried about increased traffic. Many worried about an increase in crime and whether the facility would be a consistent target for criminals. Others said there wouldn’t be enough tax revenue to offset the dispensary’s presence. 

The moratorium rightfully never gained traction and the facility at 1333 East Main St. opened its doors in January 2016, providing a new care option care for patients with a variety of serious illnesses like cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

It would have been difficult at the time to envision that the Town Board would ever embrace recreational marijuana. Yet here we are.

Councilman Tim Hubbard, first elected in 2015, just after the dispensary approval, cast his vote last week against opting out of the sliver of…

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When New York State approved a medical marijuana dispensary in Riverhead in August 2015, the Town Board’s immediate response was to consider enacting a moratorium that would effectively serve as a roadblock.

Even before the state’s approval, the potential facility, slated for East Main Street, faced immense scrutiny. There were concerns about its location and whether it was too close to schools. A former councilman worried about increased traffic. Many worried about an increase in crime and whether the facility would be a consistent target for criminals. Others said there wouldn’t be enough tax revenue to offset the dispensary’s presence. 

The moratorium rightfully never gained traction and the facility at 1333 East Main St. opened its doors in January 2016, providing a new care option care for patients with a variety of serious illnesses like cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

It would have been difficult at the time to envision that the Town Board would ever embrace recreational marijuana. Yet here we are.

Councilman Tim Hubbard, first elected in 2015, just after the dispensary approval, cast his vote last week against opting out of the sliver of…



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