Municipalities like the village of Homer can opt out of allowing the sale — not use — of cannabis within their borders. However, that would cause them to miss out on substantial tax revenue.
The topic was brought up for conversation during last night’s board of trustees meeting.
“If we prevent shops from opening here, people can just go somewhere else nearby and come back to the village with it,” said Mayor Hal McCabe. “At that point, all we did was lose the potential revenue.”
Local governments get a four-percent tax on each sale: Three-percent goes to the county and one-percent, potentially, to the village.
But the money is not everything.
“My particular concern is with our schools being so close by,” Deputy Mayor Patrick Clune said. “We need to do everything we can to keep our kids safe. Also, with people who just walk down the street while smoking; not everyone enjoys the smell of that.”
Board members discussed the possibility of a local law in the future that would prohibit smoking of any kind in public spaces.
Enforcement behind the wheel is a different story.
Village police chief Bob Pitman says the technology currently available for detection lags behind the newly enacted law.
“I know Troopers have a way to determine the levels of THC in the blood, but on the side of the road we pretty have to rely on officer observation for now,” said Chief Pitman.
Homer Police Department does have one trained Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) on its roster.