Trumbull P&Z approves moratorium on cannabis retailers – Middletown Press

TRUMBULL — While retail sale of recreational marijuana is expected to begin in May of 2022, in Trumbull the wait may be a bit longer.

The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously passed a moratorium on cannabis sales in town during the commission’s Aug. 18 meeting. The one-year moratorium will expire on Sept. 1, 2022.

Rob Librandi, the town planner, said the reasoning behind the moratorium was concern that the town would receive applications to build dispensaries without necessarily knowing what the best practices would be.

“A moratorium will give us that time to see what may be suitable for the town or what is happening around the state,” Librandi said.

The moratorium comes about two months after the governor signed SB-1201, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state. The law went into effect July 1.

But the state allows municipalities wide latitude in implementing the law. And while the law has legalized personal use and possession of small amounts of marijuana, the state law only allows for sales to start in May of 2022 at the earliest.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, who pushed for a moratorium, said she was pleased it passed unanimously.

“I want to thank the Planning and Zoning Commission for unanimously passing the cannabis non-medical dispensary moratorium last night at their August meeting. This will give our community the time to study and discuss the regulations regarding a dispensary,” she said. “Once these regulations are issued by the Department of Consumer Protection we will include all the stakeholders in these discussions. We now have the time we need to do this the right way for our residents and our businesses.”

Because the state has never allowed marijuana to be sold (and it is still illegal on the federal level) there were no regulations in place for how to classify a non-medical marijuana business in town. In fact, the amendment to the town zoning regulations establishing the moratorium added the definition for a cannabis establishment before going on to place a hold on cannabis businesses operating within the town. It also included letters supporting the moratorium from Police Chief Michael Lombardo and TPAUD project director Melissa McGarry.

McGarry also applauded the moratorium.

“We are grateful that Trumbull P&Z implemented this moratorium so that we can hit pause – allowing us to see how this new industry develops in (Connecticut), and to consider carefully how cannabis businesses will impact our families and other businesses in town,” McGarry said.

However, Tony Silber, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission previously said that the moratorium would not have a significant impact on use among teens, who tend to get drugs from neighborhood dealers, he said.

While the moratorium will prevent anyone from applying to open up a dispensary, Rich Deecken, a member of the board said that the real world implications are minimal for the time being, since no one is seriously considering opening such a business in town.

“It’s my understanding that there were a couple softer inquiries even now, but nothing serious at this time. And of course, they can’t come till May anyway,” Deecken said.

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