Watertown has become the latest municipality in the state to opt out of retail marijuana sales.

Lawmakers voted to keep retail marijuana shops from opening in the Northern New York city after a marathon hearing on Monday night.

WWNY-TV reports that 19 out of 26 people who spoke at the public hearing were in favor of opting in, but the Watertown City Common Council voted the other way.

Council members said they wanted more guidance from Albany. The public can also petition the council to hold a referendum.

New York approved a legalization bill in March that will allow sales of recreational-use marijuana.

But the state law allows local governments to pass stricter rules on marijuana use.

Retail sales are expected to begin next year and are expected to generate up to $8 million annually.

The development of an adult-use cannabis industry in New York State has the potential to create significant economic opportunities for New Yorkers and the State.

Tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350 million annually. Additionally, there is the potential for this new industry to create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.

The Yorktown Board in Westchester County voted unanimously last week to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries.

Cazenovia in Madison County was one of the first municipalities in the state to ban retail pot sales.

New York municipalities have until December 31, 2021 to opt out of allowing cannabis retail shops.

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