Riverhead holds public hearing over proposed restrictions to recreational marijuana sales
The Town of Riverhead held a public hearing Tuesday over proposed restrictions to recreational cannabis sales.
Riverhead's proposed zoning would keep pot dispensaries at least 1,000 feet from schools, libraries and day cares. It would also require them to be at least 500 feet from playgrounds and town beaches.
Brian Plona, an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur, says Riverhead seems to be the most weed friendly out of all the Long Island towns.
A proposed map would allow cannabis dispensaries and consumption sites in some parts of the central business district and shopping centers on Old Country Road.
Other towns on Long Island restrict cannabis businesses to industrial areas.
"People are going to come out here and that's what's going to happen," says Plona. "So whether or not you think you're going to be the cannabis destination, I got news for you, you're it now. We're coming."
Anthony DeVincenzo, of the Cannabis Association of New York, praised most of the guidelines but says they are making a mistake by not allowing food sales at consumption sales because people get the munchies when they smoke.
"What you don't want people doing is driving stoned so why would we put people in a situation where they can get stoned and get hungry, but then cannot satiate that feeling inside the same establishment," DeVincenzo says.
The State Office of Cannabis Management hopes to have the first dispensaries open by the end of the year or the beginning of next year.
Long Island will initially get 20 of them. It's not clear how many people will be in the Town of Riverhead.
According to New York state, the vote has to happen by the end of the year.
People can submit written public comments until Oct. 28.