I’m really unhappy to read that Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, at a January 5 work session, told Town Board members that he is distressed with the fact that Southampton has not set up guidelines for the sale of marijuana, causing Southampton to fall behind its counterparts in other towns who have already set up their guidelines for sales [“With State Regs on Tap, Southampton Town Moves Ahead With Retail Pot Shop Zoning Rules,” 27east.com, January 11].
The most important paragraph in this story: “While the Town of Southampton opted in on dispensaries and social-consumption spaces, its incorporated villages — Sagaponack, Southampton Village, Quogue, Westhampton Dunes, Westhampton Beach and North Haven [and Sag Harbor] — all opted out.”
Who chose to opt in? What is missing from this list is Hampton Bays. We have no voice, apparently, even though the Town Board-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee already voiced its opinion in the past year. We definitely didn’t opt in!
Hampton Bays residents don’t want a recreational use facility in Hampton Bays. We thought the CAC had some responsibility for reflecting the wishes of our residents.
We want to be sure that the rules that have not yet been set up by the Town Board are not directed at Hampton Bays. We have almost every one of the community facilities in town that would prevent any such recreational facility to operate.
The key to the issue seems to be the 13 percent tax that is levied on the sale of marijuana products by the state. Mr. Schneiderman seems to be unhappy missing the opportunity for the town to get a piece of that tax revenue, since the Shinnecock don’t pay the tax.
As we pointed out at our CAC meetings, the Shinnecock Nation is already selling cannabis oils and products. It doesn’t need permission and already has a medical marijuana license. They are building their own greenhouses. They can sell products at a reduced price, since there is no tax involved. Recreational users should have no problem driving three miles to purchase at a discount.
There is no reason for any Town in Southampton to be obligated to sell these products. Whoever needs to purchase this product has a very short drive to take advantage of the opportunity at the Shinnecock Territory shops.
There are recognized medical uses. My personal opinion is that medical use products should be sold in pharmacies like other prescription drugs. Pharmacies know how to handle medical products.
It’s the sale for recreational use that we are not encouraging in Hampton Bays. We are in the process of making positive changes in our business district in Hampton Bays. This is not the kind of business we want to attract.
I hope that all residents will voice their opinions, since everyone is entitled.
One fine body…