Cecilia DowdOct 3, 2017, 8:54 pmOct 3, 2017, 8:54 pm

Lindenhurst officials seek ban on businesses that sell medical marijuana

Proposed law targets vape stores, shops, hookah lounges and would bar both medicinal marijuana and synthetic cannabis

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Medicinal marijuana may not have a future in the village of Lindenhurst if a proposed law is passed.

The proposal targets hookah lounges, vape shops, and businesses that include the smoking or selling of medicinal marijuana, synthetic marijuana, or cannabis substitutes.

“The main intent was for our downtown, which we're trying to turn into a family-friendly area, it's not what folks want,” said Lindenhurst Mayor Mike Lavorata.

Mayor Lavorata says in the past, parents approached him with complaints about people puffing away outside vape shops in the village.

Back in 2016, the village placed a moratorium on vape shops, stores selling e-cigarettes, hookah bars and stores selling medical marijuana.

Now, the proposed law seeks to make that moratorium permanent.

A public hearing was held Wednesday where a woman with a serious illness spoke out against the medical marijuana component of the proposed law.

“I am the face of the person who takes medical marijuana. I am a 52-year-old professional who's married, owns a commercial building, runs a successful business and has five children,” said Marguerite Danaher of Lindenhurst.

With a degenerative neurological disease that causes significant pain, Marguerite Danaher relies on medical marijuana to ease her illness.

“I don't think I'm considered undesirable. And I don't think medical marijuana is a bad habit,” she said.

Registered nurse Mary Cunningham spoke after Danaher, echoing her support for medical marijuana.

“I agree that with the medical marijuana, we should give it more consideration,” Cunningham said.

As for the existing vape shops in Lindenhurst, they will be grandfathered in if the law passes, according to the mayor.

“I'm not gonna stop the sale of these things in 7-Elevens and gas stations. We're not gonna be e-cigarette police, It's the shops where they congregate,” Mayor Lavorata said. “We're looking to change businesses, trying to bring restaurants here. That's something that's more for the outskirts.

A date for the vote has not yet been set; in the meantime, that moratorium remains in place.

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