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Zoning Rule Proposal On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Expected

Published: April 14, 2018

A local firm that wants to house a medical marijuana dispensary in an industrial building that it owns on Commerce Road is soon expected to submit proposed zoning regulations for such a dispensary to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) for P&Z review and action.

Attorney Robert Hall, representing a firm known as 18 Commerce Road, LLC, which owns the industrial building at that address (pictured above), said this week that he expects to submit such proposed zoning regulations to the town Land Use Agency next week for P&Z consideration. Creating new zoning regulations requires a public hearing for public comment on the proposal before the P&Z can take action to approve, reject, or modify a proposal.

Mr Hall said that an application for such a dispensary has been submitted to the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) for the 18 Commerce Road building.

Besides a town endorsement to allow a dispensary, such a facility would require approvals from the state’s medical marijuana program, which is administered and licensed by the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). The DCP has extensive regulations to control the production, handling, and sale of medical marijuana to people who meet the medical requirements to use the substance.

It is unclear what business entity submitted an application to DCP for a dispensary at 18 Commerce Road. The application deadline was April 10.

Catherine Blinder, a DCP spokeswoman, said on April 11 that 70 applicants have submitted applications for 76 locations in the state proposed as medical marijuana dispensaries. Within several months, DCP expects to select three to ten locations for new dispensaries, she said.

Until the DCP decides on the new dispensary locations, application information is kept confidential, Ms Blinder said.

At an April 5 P&Z session, Mr Hall informed P&Z members of his client’s intent to submit proposed zoning rules on medical marijuana dispensaries. The attorney said the proposed rules would narrowly define such a permitted use.

Mr Hall said that 18 Commerce Road would be a good location for a dispensary. There are no residences in the industrial park there and the site is near Interstate 84, he said.

“We want to do something that’s good for the town and not detrimental,” Mr Hall of the dispensary proposal.

Such proposed regulations would require an applicant to receive a special zoning permit for such activity in an industrial zone, said George Benson, town planning director. Special zoning permit applications require P&Z public hearings.

On April 4, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) let stand the town zoning enforcement officer’s March 20 decision against allowing a medical marijuana dispensary at 18 Commerce Road. The zoning enforcement officer had ruled that the current zoning regulations do not allow such a use in town, after which the ZBA concurred. The ZBA appeal was submitted by 18 Commerce Road, LLC.

The 10,240-square-foot building at 18 Commerce Road was built in 1978. It is located in a M-5 (Industrial) zone. The front section of the building is vacant and would house the proposed dispensary.

In this area, a medical marijuana dispensary does business on Garella Road in Bethel.

medical marijuana dispensary update -- 18 Commerce Rd from Vision Government Solutions

A local firm known as 18 Commerce Road, LLC is hoping to house a medical marijuana dispensary in the industrial building it owns at that address.

—Vision Government Solutions photo

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