Directors Debate Retail Cannabis Sales | Columbia County
PHILMONT – Mayor Brian Johnson doesn’t want marijuana dispensaries coming to the village, even though the businesses could generate considerable sales tax revenue.
Administrator Debra Gitterman introduced the topic of dispensaries to Johnson and administrators Larry Ostrander and Douglas Cropper cautiously during the village board workshop meeting.
“Speaking of municipal taxes, it’s a bit controversial, but I wish we would do it a bit, and I don’t know where I am, but I would like us to think about it, so …” she said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation allows growers and distributors of marijuana to obtain separate licenses, and municipalities will have to decide whether they want to license dispensaries, Gitterman said.
Johnson immediately said he didn’t like the idea.
“I don’t want to allow it,” Johnson said. “I’ll tell you right away. I am not at all in favor of that. I don’t think Philmont should be known for the best pot in town. I really do not know. Cropper also immediately agreed with Johnson.
“I’m with you on this,” he said. “I don’t want to see him. I don’t even want this to be legal in the state. Johnson, as he crossed the room after rising from his seat at the start of the conversation, echoed Cropper. “No”, he said, refusing the legalization of the state.
Ostrander did not agree and supports the dispensaries that come to Philmont. He compared the dispensaries to the liquor stores on Main Street.
“It’s kind of the same,” Ostrander said. “These are recreational drugs. I would be 100% there and I am not a user. Gitterman contacted Colorado municipalities with populations similar to Philmont to investigate the idea, she said. She didn’t think it would be a good idea for Philmont until she looked into the matter more.
Officials in a small town Gitterman spoke with told him they made $ 150,000 in the first year on marijuana and sales taxes and can now use that money to redo their streets, he said. she declared.
Municipalities praised the dispensary businesses, saying the businesses are community-minded, reputable and play by the rules. “I don’t know, the clerks and the municipalities just said it was the best thing,” she said.
Johnson asked where a dispensary in the village would go, saying there were apartments above the storefronts on Main Street. “I don’t think this is a good idea for Philmont,” he said. “I really don’t.”
Philmont will be left behind as dispensaries expand elsewhere, Ostrander warned. “It’s going to happen everywhere else,” he said.
Gitterman agreed, saying Philmont would lose financially.
Ostrander suggested that council worry about this when the time comes and offered to hold the discussion.