In April, the Jamestown City Council and Mayor Eddie Sundquist had a discussion on the local law to opt out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites.
Since that time, no other discussion has taken place.
Anthony Dolce, council president and Ward 2 councilman, was asked last week by The Post-Journal when the discussion on the opt out local law might be continued by the council.
“Well again, we did discuss it briefly back in April and we haven’t brought it back up,” he said. “The consensus back then was we wanted more information to see the direction the state was going to go. We were waiting on information.”
With the city having a deadline of Dec. 31 to opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites, Dolce said it’s a discussion the council will need to have again in the next few months.
“I think that was our plan, to wait and see. At that time, there were a lot of unanswered questions and concerns overall. Rather than jump in and make a decision at that time (we have waited),” he said. “Again, this is a discussion we have to have with the administration and council. We have to do our due diligence.”
In recent months, several towns and villages have opted out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites. Dolce said he doesn’t think the fact that smaller communities are opting out will influence the decision the council will make.
“Our plan is we are going to do what is best for the city. With towns and villages, because of their size, that could be why they’re opting out,” he said. “Because of our size, maybe we could take advantage of opting in. Again we have to have the discussion. We have to discuss what it means for the city. What the financial impact could be.”
In June, Jamestown officials announced that it was marketing itself toward potential commercial cannabis growers because of the city’s competitive advantages of having low-cost electricity and water provided by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and several vacant manufacturing facilities.
At the time, Sundquist said the city provides affordable power and water, multiple potential locations and a welcoming community with a capable workforce for commercial cannabis grow operations. He said there are available vacant manufacturing and industrial facilities along Allen, Crescent and Second streets in the city. He added that city officials have toured at least four facilities and there are at least 10 available locations for future marijuana growing operations.
Even though municipalities can opt out of allowing pot dispensaries and consumption sites, cities, towns and villages cannot prevent potential commercial cannabis growers from producing in their municipality.
Dolce said he thinks — because the city is marketing toward commercial pot growers — that it will impact the decision the council makes when it comes to whether to opt out or in.
“Ultimately, I think that will have an effect,” he said. “It will be interesting to see where the BPU and city are with their marketing efforts. We (the council) really haven’t been updated on that. It will be interesting to see what the impact of that is.”