Niagara County forms committee to look at potential impact of legal marijuana


Niagara County is going to look further into the potential local impact of legal marijuana in New York.

On Wednesday, it was announced that an ad hoc committee was officially appointed by Niagara County Legislature Chairman Keith McNall.

The committee, which is chaired by Legislator Jesse Gooch, will seek to learn more and review options amid the possibility of marijuana becoming legal in the state.

Also serving on the committee are the following people:

  • Legislators Rebecca Wydysh and Owen Steed
  • Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek
  • Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour
  • Niagara County Director of Public Health Daniel Stapleton
  • Niagara County Director of Mental Health Laura Keleman
  • Niagara County Attorney John Ottaviano
  • North Tonawanda City Attorney Luke Brown

Cuomo’s proposal for legalization allows counties and cities with more than 100,000 residents to opt out. Niagara County qualifies for this.

“The legalization of adult recreational marijuana is coming to New York State, that’s a certainty,” said Gooch. “As the county legislative body, it is imperative that we hear from any interested parties and gather as much information as needed to make an informed and educated decision regarding the opt out provision, as well as the expected impact within our community.”

Gooch is seeking to hold two or three public panel discussions in the coming months.

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