JAMESTOWN – A resolution that could pump the brakes on the City of Jamestown Mayor’s plan to make the rural New York town a destination for the new cannabis industry will be discussed on Monday.
Earlier this year, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist launched an effort to promote the city as a destination for those looking to enter the budding industry.
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, a resolution that would allow the municipality to opt-out of permitting marijuana dispensaries and consumption sites around the city was introduced.
The mayor says he is disappointed with the message this could send to those interested in investing in the industry.
“You’re not going to see a headshop on every street,” said Sundquist. “What’s important to note here, all of these businesses nationwide will not go in a community that has opt-ed out.”
Several towns and villages across Chautauqua County have voted to opt-out due to the lack of guidance from New York State’s newly established Office of Cannabis Management.
“The state already manages liquor licenses on a statewide level,” continued Sundquist. “It is the same thing.”
Sundquist’s office so far has received over 250 inquiries from prospective entrepreneurs who are considering Jamestown as their base of operations. Specifically, there is a handful of businesses that are looking at converting to retail operations; with one eyeing a major expansion.
“If they get the license and go through with it, (it would result in) anywhere from 100 to 200 jobs and a $20-million-dollar renovation of a factory site,” explained Sundquist.
In the first four years of operation, the mayor projects retail dispensaries alone will generate an upwards of $500 thousand dollars in tax revenue.
“I think there is a lot of misconceptions out there, we definitely recognized the issues related to public safety,” said Sundquist. “We see this as an opportunity with increased sales tax as a way to increase our public safety: our police, our fire presence.”
Jamestown City Council has until the end of the year to vote on opting-out, if they do not vote, then the city would automatically be opted-in.
The resolution is on the agenda for Monday night’s meeting, however before a law would be passed a public hearing would need to be held.