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Corning City Council approves amendment changing cannabis laws

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  • Staff Report 

In a closely contested decision, the Corning City Council voted 5 to 4 on Monday to amend local cannabis laws, aligning them with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) regulations.

The amendment, strongly advocated by Corning Mayor Bill Boland, focused on the specific question of bringing the city’s regulation of cannabis use and sales in line with state laws. The change in the local law adjusts the guidelines for the location of legal cannabis shops, making them less restrictive than before.

The amendment specifies that cannabis shops cannot be on the same road and within 200 feet of a house of worship or within 500 feet of a school or public youth facility. Previously, the law prohibited cannabis shops within a 500-foot radius of community facilities or schools, with community facilities encompassing a broader range of locations like daycares, parks, and youth centers.

This shift sparked emotional responses during the public hearing, with residents and council members expressing concerns about the proximity of cannabis shops to places frequented by children.

Despite the heated debate, the passage of the amendment paves the way for legal cannabis stores to operate in Corning, subject to state licensing and regulation. This development marks Corning’s full compliance with New York State OCM regulations and opens new possibilities for the city’s business landscape.