Monday, January 30, 2023

Local leaders call on Gov. Hochul to crack down on ‘sticker stores’

Finger Lakes Daily News
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning), and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C-Big Flats) on (January 12) joined regional law enforcement representatives and other local leaders to call on Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democrat leaders of the State Legislature to approve legislation and crack down on the proliferation of businesses, commonly known as “sticker stores,” illegally dispensing and selling marijuana throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide.

O’Mara, Palmesano, and Friend currently sponsor legislation (S9365/A9815, Note: This legislation is being reintroduced and will receive new bill numbers for the 2023 legislative session) that, if enacted, would strengthen existing law, outlaw sticker stores, and establish criminal and civil penalties for violators. Any civil penalties collected by the state would be remitted to the county of the violating establishment.

They called on Hochul and the Democrat leaders of the Senate and Assembly to immediately enact the legislation.

In a joint statement, O’Mara, Palmesano, and Friend said, “New York State needs to stop the proliferation of illegal marijuana ‘sticker stores’ throughout the region we represent and statewide. These illegal operations diminish the quality of life and risk the safety of the communities and neighborhoods where they operate. New York State is establishing a legal and appropriately regulated network of adult-use recreational marijuana dispensaries, with all the necessary safeguards. While we opposed the legalization of marijuana from the outset, if it’s going to go forward, it needs to take place under a legally established system with the appropriate oversight. We need to make it clear that these illegal sticker stores cannot operate and that there are criminal and civil consequences for any owners who continue to do so.”

Calling on Hochul to step up state efforts to shut down the illegal operations, including the enactment of the legislation they sponsor, the area state legislators were joined in Watkins Glen today by the following regional law enforcement representatives and local leaders: Schuyler County Sheriff Kevin Rumsey; Schuyler County Administrator Fonda Chronis; Schuyler County District Attorney Joe Fazzary; Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman; Schuyler County Legislator Phil Barnes; Chemung County Sheriff William Schrom; Chemung County Executive Assistant District Attorney Wayne Witherwax; Chemung County Legislator Bill McCarthy; Steuben County Sheriff James Allard; Steuben County Legislator Hilda Lando; Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard; Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin; Penn Yan Police Chief Thomas Dunham; and Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella.