Wethersfield Holds Public Hearing On Opening Up Zoning To Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Wethersfield officials weighing a zone change that would allow for a medical marijuana dispensary within town limits fielded clashing viewpoints at a public hearing Tuesday night, with some saying dispensaries offer a safe and highly regulated treatment that residents currently have to leave town to get, and others calling the centers a magnet for crime, layabouts and “riff-raff.”
At the end of the hearing, which, because of extensive input from the community, lasted more than two hours, Wethersfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission decided to hold another hearing in two weeks before taking a vote.
On Tuesday, Rino Mozzicato, the son of the famous bakery chain’s founders and the applicant for the zone change, laid out his plan: Under the amendment to Wethersfield’s current zoning regulations, which do not allow for marijuana vendors, any dispensary would be restricted to a narrow strip of the Silas Deane Highway called the “town zone center,” and be situated 1,000 feet from any school or house of worship.
The amendment also forbids any two dispensaries from being 1,000 feet from each other. Under the first two requirements, only seven parcels of land in the “town zone center” would be eligible as a dispensary site. Because of the third requirement, any dispensary that sets up shop on one of those seven parcels would rule out the other six for consideration.
If the amendment passes, and Mozzicato submits and receives a special permit for his dispensary, Wethersfield would effectively become a one-dispensary — and one-dispensary owner — town.
“Limiting it to one per town would be suitable to a town of 30,000 people,” Mozzicato said.
One of the seven “town zone center” parcels eligible under Mozzicato’s proposed amendment — a property at the corner of the Silas Deane Highway and Wells Road — is already owned