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City of Cortland Approves Limiting Areas Where Head Shops and Dispensaries May Operate

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After being reviewed and subsequently approved by the City of Cortland Planning Commission on Monday, the City of Cortland Common Council voted unanimously to approve limiting the area where both head shops and retail dispensaries for both cannabis and related products.


The limitation will only permit these types of businesses in the City of Cortland to Zoning District GB-1 (General Business). The only areas within the city limits that are currently zoned for GB-1 includes the Riverside Plaza on Cortland’s Northside and the business area near Exit 11 on Interstate 81.

Image via City of Cortland

The law was additionally reviewed by the Cortland County Planning Board, who provided technical changes to the law, which the City of Cortland’s Corporate Council added into the law.

The city also provided definitions regarding what is considered to be a cannabis dispensary and a head shop. Those definitions may be found below.

CANNABIS DISPENSARY – A retail establishment that holds a valid New York State license as outlined in New York State Cannabis Law, and as such has the current authorization for the acquisition, possession, sale, display and/or receive delivery of cannabis or marijuana and related products, as defined by New York State, from the licensed premises of the retail dispensary by such licensee to cannabis consumers. A Cannabis Dispensary shall be subject to and comply with all additional rules, regulations, and restrictions promulgated by New York State. A Cannabis Dispensary shall be subject to the provisions, requirements, and definitions set forth in Chapter 269 of the City’s Administrative Code, as applicable.

HEAD SHOP – A retail establishment that offers for sale, use, or display paraphernalia or items designed, designated, or marketed for use with tobacco products; that offers for sale, use, or display inhalants commonly referred to as ‘vaping products’; that offers for sale, use, or display products inclusive of e-cigarettes, or controlled substances. A Head Shop may alternatively be known as a smoke shop, a vape shop, a cannabis dispensary, or anything similar in use. A Head Shop shall be subject to the provisions, requirements, and definitions set forth in Chapter 269 of the City’s Administrative Code, as applicable.

The new law limiting the allowable area within the City of Cortland will go into effect immediately. Businesses will have 90 days to comply with the new law.

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