Countless business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals in New York celebrated the state’s passage in late March of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (the MRTA), S.854-A/A.1248-A, both for the economic opportunities it presented and for the fact that it legalized the possession, sale, and growing of marijuana for recreational purposes for anyone 21 years of age and older. By the same token, numerous state officials rejoiced at the new source of tax revenue, in which local municipalities would share.

Recognizing, however, that there remains a not insignificant degree of opposition to the legalization of recreational cannabis, the MRTA offered local officials the opportunity to opt out of certain of its provisions or to regulate, in limited fashion, two of the licenses it created.