New York

Cannabis chaos reigns over New York City community commissions

As New York’s first legal cannabis shop prepares to open, messages are pouring in on a community board meant to inform.

Some committees have recommended that newly licensed dispensary operators, under procedures to legalize recreational cannabis, open stores in their neighborhoods under the procedures outlined in laws to legalize recreational cannabis. I hear they’re trying, but other committees only hear crickets.

as THE CITY reported this weekHarlem’s Community Board 10 heard nothing about the West 125th Street dispensing pharmacy when state officials announced the state’s first lease had been signed.

Meanwhile, at Manhattan Community Board 2 in Greenwich Village, hearing On Monday night, applications from two nonprofits, Housing Works and the Doe Fund Reported by NY Cannabis Insider.

Still other committees have a hunch that pot product retailers may be coming to the neighborhood, but as they’re already doing, there’s no notice deadline or an opportunity for them to consider. No clue as to whether there is even a liquor license and other local matters.

Molly Galonoy, Volunteer Chair for Queens Community Board 2 for Sunnyside, Woodside and Queens, said: Long Island City. “It seems really, really ambitious. But maybe I’m just too in the dark.”

Community boards are made up of local volunteers who live or do business in the area. The commission will advise on whether state laws legalizing the sale of pot products require the state’s Office of Cannabis Control (OCM) to approve dispensary locations. Board members may have insight into how to apply restrictions, such as banning clinics within 500 feet of schools or 200 feet of places of worship.

However, the details of the day-to-day procedures involved with liquor and other approvals, such as deadlines and communication with relevant government agencies, remain a mystery when it comes to the locations of pot dealers, according to members of the regional committee.

OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman said in a statement to THE CITY:

outside the loop?

The first 175 licenses issued by the state fall into two categories, 150 of which are for applicants “involved in the justice system” with a marijuana conviction or immediate family members, and up to 25 non-commercial licenses. awarded to the group.

According to state regulations, license holders must Submit notification form to the Community Board where the facility is located — and they must do so at least 30 days before submitting an application for a full license.

Two young men will make joint passes at Washington Square Park this fall.

Hiram Alejandro Duran/THE CITY

However, many community boards don’t make it clear when they actually get notified.

While nonprofit clinics choose their own locations and lease and build their own stores, the New York State Dormitory Department is central to doing all this for its licensees involved in the judiciary. playing a role. The law includes an exemption from community board review for properties leased by state agencies, so community boards could be cut out of the loop.

Dormitory officials have not responded to questions from THE CITY as to whether the exclusion applies to the West 125th Street storefront or to other persons from judicial applicants. Hmm.

Manhattan Community Board 10 District Manager Shatic Mitchell was contacted on Dec. 7 after the state announced the location on West 125th Street, and the former Children’s Place store across from the landmark Apollo Theater. He said he was unaware of the planned retail space. Call from THE CITY.

“What are we reviewing?”

In that article, NY Cannabis Insider decided The Queens Community Board has decided to open stores from new cannabis licensees even after four dispensary licenses have been approved for the Borough, in addition to the two licenses issued to Queens-based nonprofits. I haven’t received a notification for yet.

One of these nonprofits, Urban Upbound, a Long Island City-based group, said it was still looking for a retail site within Queens Community Board 1 or 2. notification form may be received from the applicant.

Galonoy had no idea that the Community Committee and Local Government forms existed until THE CITY showed him a copy. The application form contains very little information about the applicant, so the board cannot get enough information.

“There aren’t many out there,” said Galonoy, reviewing the blank form. “It seems very, very wide.”

Queens CB1 District Manager Florence Coulouris, who usually reviews liquor license letters, is also confused about what to do with cannabis applications.

“What are we reviewing? Are we looking at backgrounds? Will we deliver to the police station?” Cloris said. “As you know, they created these forms and posted them on their website, but we have not received any instructions regarding them. We have not received any guidance at this time.”

State Liquor Departments, as well as city agencies, typically assign representatives to liaise with district managers on community boards. The OCM also has an external affairs team that is supposed to act as a liaison with local government leaders, but Koulouris said CB1 does not have a representative to liaise with government agencies. .

fuzzy process

Once the applicant submits the notification form, the local community board has 30 days to express an opinion under the law. cannabis control board.

“It doesn’t take long,” said Galonoy, noting that community board meetings only meet once a month. “Normally, they would come before a committee, and the committee would review the application, ask questions, and then go to the board as a whole. I don’t have much time.”

Koulouris also said the community board should have 45 to 60 days to consider these applications, especially considering the board takes a hiatus from July to August each summer.

“Don’t forget, we also have a liquor license and a cannabis license now. “Doing it for 60 days is beneficial to all involved.”

Koulouris also questioned whether OCM would turn over license renewals to community boards, as it does with state liquor agencies. And she said the paperwork doesn’t need the level of information necessary for proper engagement and enforcement, such as landlord contact information or the types of products sold.

“The Community Board is the cornerstone of New York City. We are the eyes and ears of the earth. We know things that most other people don’t,” said Kourolis. “And, you know, we often need more guidance than what we’re receiving to do a better job for New York City.”

Murfitzgerald, who chairs the Manhattan Community Board 2 Cannabis Licensing Committee, which will review the two applications on Monday, also used information gleaned from the meeting to develop an applicant questionnaire and reduce the committee’s procedures to zero. said it needs to be reviewed by , industry stakeholders, and her board of directors hosted a forum last year.

“We can do it because we’re ready,” Fitzgerald said, adding that he “didn’t really get any guidance” from the city. That’s why a unified process across the board benefits us all.”

Meanwhile, community board leaders elsewhere, like Koulouris, are stuck and desperate to find the next step.

“What if two years later I get a notice and that person is selling to a minor? Do the community board comments matter? With the State Liquor Department, I have a representative for Queens They will listen to us. Cannabis chaos reigns over New York City community commissions

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