This is a tricky time for anyone concerned about cannabis distribution and use in the community because, as New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers put it at the February 22 meeting of the village’s trustees, “This is a moving target.” Residents have been reporting on social media — and directly to public officials — about cannabis being sold or given away at local shops and via a “dispensary bus” that was parked downtown for a few days. Some are concerned about the plant being distributed at all, while others have singled out the lack of labeling on what until quite recently was most often sold surreptitiously in plastic baggies.
What makes this challenging is the fact that possession and use of cannabis by adults is now legal, but the unsurprisingly complex bureaucracy for regulating and taxing its sale has not yet become fully operational. At least one shopkeeper has reportedly stopped offering free cannabis on the sidewalk and the dispensary bus seems to have been relocated to Monroe and Wappingers Falls, but this is a challenging time for police officers. For example, last year the chief said during one public “conversation with police” event that minors possessing cannabis were not being stopped because the lack of regulations exposed the department and town to liability.
The purple haze hanging over cannabis culture may soon be clearing, however: Rogers reported being advised that new state guidelines and laws would be in place “in the coming weeks.”