The Riverhead Town Board is split about whether to change its restrictive zoning laws for recreational marijuana businesses.
The town’s Business Advisory Committee and the committee’s liaison, Council Member Bob Kern, said during last week’s work session that the law should change to amend the requirement that recreational marijuana businesses be 1,000-feet away from any residential use. They said the zoning is too prohibitive for prospective recreational cannabis business owners and could violate the state’s Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
The discussion follows a Business Advisory Committee letter to the board in February asking the Town Board to adopt a revision to the code “in-line with [State Liquor Authority] regulations,” and an internal review by the town in April that found that recreational marijuana businesses can only be located at 36 properties in the entire town. A subsequent RiverheadLOCAL analysis of the 36 properties found that most of them were already developed, already have tenants or cannot house marijuana businesses under the confines of the local law.
Kern said there are only “two or three” parcels of land