Public hearing set for June 15 as Town Board faces decision on marijuana retail dispensariesPosted by On


The Riverhead Town Board plans to hold a public hearing on a proposal to opt out of allowing marijuana retail dispensaries and on-site public consumption of marijuana.

The hearing is scheduled to take place during the June 15 Town Board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. 

Municipalities that opt out will lose out on the 3% share of tax revenue generated by retail sales of marijuana under the new state legislation.

But putting the proposal forward for a hearing doesn’t necessarily mean the board is leaning toward opting out.

According to deputy town attorney Anne Marie Prudenti, state law doesn’t allow the board to set a direct public referendum on issues. Instead, it only allows the public to weigh in via permissive referendum.

A permissive referendum enables the public to submit a petition opposing a given measure within 45 days of its adoption by the Town Board. If that petition is signed by10% or more of the qualified voters from the last presidential election, the Town Board must then place that issue on the Nov. 2 ballot or hold a special election on it, which officials say is very expensive. 

In addition, if a permissive referendum meets the standard for challenge, the measure must be put on…

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The Riverhead Town Board plans to hold a public hearing on a proposal to opt out of allowing marijuana retail dispensaries and on-site public consumption of marijuana.

The hearing is scheduled to take place during the June 15 Town Board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. 

Municipalities that opt out will lose out on the 3% share of tax revenue generated by retail sales of marijuana under the new state legislation.

But putting the proposal forward for a hearing doesn’t necessarily mean the board is leaning toward opting out.

According to deputy town attorney Anne Marie Prudenti, state law doesn’t allow the board to set a direct public referendum on issues. Instead, it only allows the public to weigh in via permissive referendum.

A permissive referendum enables the public to submit a petition opposing a given measure within 45 days of its adoption by the Town Board. If that petition is signed by10% or more of the qualified voters from the last presidential election, the Town Board must then place that issue on the Nov. 2 ballot or hold a special election on it, which officials say is very expensive. 

In addition, if a permissive referendum meets the standard for challenge, the measure must be put on…



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