The Sweden Town Board has spoken, and it doesn’t want cannabis dispensaries and lounges within its borders for the time being. But opponents of the move have launched an effort to force a public referendum on the measure.
The state laws that legalized adult possession and consumption of cannabis, and that provide a framework to establish legal sales in the state, also allow towns, villages, and cities in New York to opt out of hosting dispensaries and lounges. That’s what Sweden officials did on Nov. 9.
But a cannabis industry executive and consultant who owns a potential dispensary, as well as a municipal and land-use attorney from Irondequoit, are working with Sweden residents to pass petitions to hold a referendum on the town taking advantage of the opt-out law.
“I want to be able to do it in my own backyard and bring this industry to New York — bringing safe access, education, entrepreneurial opportunities. And then obviously there’s a lot of tax revenue that comes with it as well,” said Karen Tobin, a resident of nearby Kendall, Orleans County.
In September, Tobin and her business partner bought the former Citizens Bank building at the corner of Route 31 and Route 19 with hopes