Southbury puts legal pot dispensaries on hiatus



SOUTHBURY – Southbury has followed the lead of other Connecticut municipalities by temporarily banning cannabis establishments.

After hearing from the residents of Southbury, the zoning commission voted unanimously to approve the moratorium last month. The moratorium allows the municipality to postpone any decision on regulations and pottery shops until June.

According to the minutes of the special meeting, Zoning Commission Chairman Gary Giroux said a nine-month moratorium was in place, giving the commission time to draft regulations and determine where retailers could settle in town.

“This moratorium allows us to take our time to research and produce appropriate regulations that make sense for our city,” said Jeffrey Manville, Southbury head coach. “We are taking a close look at the new cannabis laws. “

Southbury Economic Development Director Kevin Bielmeier is in favor of the moratorium.

“Regarding the state’s new recreational cannabis law, I think the Zoning Commission’s decision for a moratorium was appropriate,†Bielmeier said. “It was longer than I would have suggested, 6 months. But it gives the city time to study the impacts, positive and negative, of this new venture, and allows us to learn what the residents of Southbury want. As soon as the law was signed, I sparked an interest in commercial cannabis establishments.

Bielmeier believes taking advantage of the medical marijuana market makes the best sense for Southbury.

“From an economic development perspective, I think a medical marijuana dispensary makes sense in Southbury,†Bielmeier said. “There is a market and a need here. I also think that a majority of the community would be in favor of such a use.

Until the Zoning Commission determines new regulations, the current rules allow cannabis retailers anywhere retailers are permitted. This would include sections of Main Street South, Strongtown Road, Heritage Road and Southford Road.

State law restricts one cannabis retailer and one cannabis micro-cultivator per 25,000 people, allowing Southbury to have one of each.

Another public hearing would be required to deal with any additions or changes to the zoning bylaws with respect to cannabis. A date will be set for a second public hearing.


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