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No pot shops for Watertown? City council considers opting out

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 5:58 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown lawmakers are taking the first step in stopping marijuana shops from popping up in the city.

City officials will draft a local law that opts out of allowing retail dispensaries in Watertown.

The decision came at the end of the city council’s work session Monday night.

The group learned what it could and could not prohibit under the law legalizing recreational marijuana and how much tax money the city would take in if it didn’t opt out of sales.

But most council members say they don’t want to see pot shops in the city.

“I don’t really want dispensaries in the city,” Mayor Jeff Smith said. “If you think it, the 3 percent, you sell a million dollars of marijuana, you get 30 grand. 30 grand is 30 grand, I get that, but I’d rather make our money in other businesses than people selling marijuana or having on-site use.”

City manager Ken Mix says a draft of the local law could be ready for the council by its first meeting in July.

There will need to be a public hearing before the law can be voted on.

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