Southington committee to study marijuana regulations
SOUTHINGTON — Town leaders will consider what changes, if any, to make to local zoning regulations concerning marijuana dispensaries.
The Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed two proposed medical marijuana dispensaries in recent months. The PZC approved one for Knotter Drive, which still needs approval from the state Department of Consumer Protection, but denied one on Queen Street.
Hearings for both were packed with residents and town leaders supporting or opposing such facilities in town.
PZC Chairman Michael DelSanto, a Republican, said Southington was among the first in the state to develop regulations after the state allowed medical marijuana. Those regulations were developed six years ago and DelSanto said it’s time to review them, particularly with the possibility of recreational marijuana becoming legal in Connecticut.
“We were on the forefront six years ago,” DelSanto said. “We want to take a look at the regulations.”
Planning commission members Jennifer Clock, Ross Hart and Peter Santago are on the subcommittee that will make a recommendation to the full group. DelSanto said the town’s anti-drug group STEPS will also have a presence on the subcommittee.
STEPS members, including the group’s president Chris Palmieri, who is also Town Council chairman, opposed the presence of medical marijuana facilities in town.
The subcommittee hasn’t yet begun to meet. Hart, a Democrat, said they’ll talk to stakeholders and review regulations from other towns.
Ross said he hopes to create regulations that balance different interests and “hopes that we can allow business to work in a way that doesn’t impact residents.”
Santago, a Republican, said he’s got an open mind about marijuana regulations and plans to “listen to everybody.”
“We’re planning and zoning. We’re not the moral police of town,” Santago said. The subcommittee will make recommendations based on “what makes sense for planning and zoning as it fits