High Bazaar cannabis ‘celebration’ to change location as Hamden gets injunction for Crest Way site – New Haven Register

HAMDEN — A judge has ordered that a cannabis bazaar cannot continue being held in a warehouse at 18 Crest Way without town permits.

The decision came down the day after the town applied for an injunction, claiming in court documents that the event was being held without proper permits and that officials had safety concerns related to large gatherings at the venue.

But Joseph Accettullo, a High Bazaar organizer named as a defendant in the case, said he already agreed to stop operating on Crest Way. And with plans to relocate, he said the the move won’t put a stop to High Bazaar, an event he described as a “celebration.”

Organizers plan to return to a former location on Treadwell Street.

“I let (officials) know that I’ll be having the outdoor event at 295 Treadwell this Saturday, that we are no longer going to be having any event at Crest Way,” said Accettullo, adding that he planned to submit site plans for the bazaar.

The owner of 295 Treadwell could not be reached for comment Thursday, and whether the town will give its blessing to that location remained uncertain.

“It depends on the nature of what they are planning on doing on Saturday,” Sean Grace, chief of staff to Mayor Lauren Garrett, said when asked whether the town took issue with a High Bazaar on Treadwell.

The mayor’s office hopes High Bazaar finds a suitable venue, according to Grace.

“The administration, the mayor, is supportive of High Bazaar finding a suitable location that is permitted and doesn’t have the same safety concerns that the (Crest Way location) has,” he said.

The town’s concerns do not pertain to cannabis, Grace said.

“The administration supports organizations and businesses related to cannabis. We’re welcoming them to Hamden and the only concern about hosting the event at the Crest Way location was about safety,” said Grace. “The events are very successful and they attract a lot of people, so you need the right venue for that.”

The bazaar took place on Crest Way without an assembly permit, an amusement permit or a bazaar and raffles permit, according to the application for the injunction, which the town filed in Superior Court in New Haven Wednesday.

“The Fire Marshal and the Building Official have serious concerns about the suitability of the building on the property for a large scale public gathering of several hundred people,” the application says. “The building on the property was constructed for storage of landscaping equipment. It does not meet the Building Code or Fire Code for a place of assembly.”

The officials’ concerns pertain to the building’s “means of ingress and egress” and potential emergency vehicle access, according to the application, which says Fire Marshal Brian Dolan and Acting Building Official Carlo Sarmiento visited the property Feb. 6 but were denied access.

Accettullo said he takes safety seriously. He has hired emergency medical technicians and security guards who make sure minors do not enter the venue, he said.

When the event relocated to Crest Way, Accettullo said, he had the “integrity of the building” checked.

“It is a very well thought-out and organized event,” he said.

When he spoke about the recent visit from town officials, Accettullo said their intentions were unclear to him. He made a quick decision aimed at protecting bazaar attendees, he said.

“I think that was a communication breakdown on a few different levels,” he said. “I do – I have a lot of respect for these officials.”

Another defendant in the case is the New England Craft Cannabis Alliance, which Accettullo founded. The complaint categorizes the alliance as an operator of the bazaar.

Also named as a defendant was Cavallaro Enterprises LLC, which owns the property at 18 Crest Way, according to the complaint.

Michael Cavallaro of Cavallaro Enterprises said he did not have extensive comment because he had little to do with the event.

“They just rent it, and I’m just the landlord,” he said. “I was just trying to rent out the building and collect some rent.”

There is one section of the complaint with which Accettullo took issue. That section describes the New England Craft Cannabis Alliance as “an association of businesses engaged in the promotion and sale of cannabis and cannabis-related products.”

Accettullo maintains cannabis sales are not allowed at the bazaar, which he said “(adheres) to gifting laws.”

While state law does not allow the sale of marijuana without a license, it does allow people to “gift” recreational marijuana.

“It’s realy a zoning issue,” Timothy Lee, an assistant town attorney who signed the complaint, said when asked about Accettullo’s concern with the language. “From the town’s perspective it’s really a health and safety issue with regard to the capacity of the building to accommodate that many people.”


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