Thursday, May 31, 2018

Q&A on Medical Marijuana in Westport

(Editor’s Note: Because of questions and concerns about the possibility of medical marijuana dispensaries coming to Westport, WestportNow offers the following Q&A to help clarify the issue.)

By James Lomuscio

Q: How many medical marijuana facilities are there in Connecticut?

In March, a large crowd was on hand for a P&Z meeting and discussion of medical marijuana dispensaries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

A: There are currently nine serving an estimated 26,000 patients with state authorized medical marijuana cards in Connecticut. The dispensaries are located in: Bethel, Branford, Bristol, Hartford, Milford, New London, South Windsor, Uncasville and Waterbury.

Q: Why are operators of medical marijuana dispensaries interested in Westport?

A: The P&Z on June 1, 2017 passed its own text amendment 735, which allows no more than two medical marijuana dispensaries in town. The decision came after a P&Z committee spent two years holding sparsely attended public hearings. The rationale for the amendment was that if the P&Z did not pass the regulation, the state could force such dispensaries on the town. The reason for two dispensaries was to minimize price fixing.

Q: Where could such a dispensary be located?

A: The regulation stipulates that it must be no less than 1,000 feet from a public building or area, including schools, houses of worship, municipal and state buildings and recreational areas. Currently, one of the applicants has a proposed text amendment 747 on file to clarify what qualifies as a public area or building. It aims to exempt a municipal, sewage pump station and a state Department of Transportation garage and sand-salt storage barn off the Sherwood island Connector.

Q: Who are the applicants and what locations are they interested in opening a dispensary?

A: Currently there are

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