Cannabis entrepreneurs seeking to open dispensaries on Long Island are frustrated with proposed or adopted zoning legislation restricting operators to industrial areas, saying the laws could hurt sales or present other problems.
Dispensaries can open only in Long Island towns that opted in to retail marijuana sales. In three of the four opt-in municipalities, legislation has been adopted or proposed that would keep the dispensaries out of downtowns, and put them in isolated zones or commercial locations.
“What you’re doing is opting out by zoning and if you’re going to go that route, just say no,” said Osbert Orduña, CEO of The Cannabis Place, a service-disabled veteran and minority-owned business focused on launching social equity dispensaries.
Babylon, Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southampton have opted to allow retail cannabis, as recreational marijuana sales are likely to be implemented by early 2023. A dispensary can only sell an individual up to 3 ounces, the same amount a person is legally allowed to possess, state officials said.
State regulators have authorized a maximum of 20 dispensaries on Long Island, with a Monday deadline for the first round to apply.
Orduña, who is on the executive board of the tristate chapter of the National Hispanic Cannabis Council