Cannabis regs head to public hearing

NORTH CANAAN — The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has finalized regulations for recreational marijuana in town.

Months of deliberation among board members has resulted in a proposed text change that can be viewed at www.northcanaan.org/entities/planning-zoning-commission. Residents will be able to testify on the regulations at a public hearing in Town Hall Monday, March 11, at 7 p.m.

Under the proposed regulations, eight of the nine cannabis license types recognized in Connecticut would be permitted, with limitations, in three district types. A special permit would be required for all operations.

Cannabis delivery service, cannabis food and beverage manufacturing, cannabis micro-cultivator (indoor grower up to 10,000 square feet with the ability to expand to 15,000 square feet), cannabis product manufacturer, and cannabis transporter licenses could be applied for in Industrial Zones. All of the Industrial Zone license types will be limited to a maximum of one establishment per category.

Cannabis dispensary, cannabis hybrid retailer, and cannabis retailer licenses could be applied for in the Commercial Zone and Central Business District.

A maximum of one dispensary license and one hybrid retailer or retailer license will be granted. If a dispensary (medical sales only) becomes a hybrid retailer (medical and retail sales), no additional cannabis retailer licenses can be approved in town.

The draft showed all license types were buffered with setbacks: no cannabis establishment may be located within 1,000 feet of a public of private school nor within 500 feet of any charitable institution, church, convent, hospital, licensed child care center, licensed dependency treatment center, military installation, playground, public library, public park, public recreation trail, recreation center or facility, or veterans’ home.

An overlay zone will be applied to the Central Business District specifically for retail/medical/hybrid operations. Two areas of Central Business will be eligible for these license types regardless of buffers.

“It’s a cluster of about 10 parcels on North Elm but south of Bragg Street... [and] the area across from Church Street Commons,” said Chairman Tim Abbott in a conversation with The Lakeville Journal. Buffers will need to be met for retail, hybrid, and medical licenses in Commercial Zones.

On-site consumption of cannabis or any cannabis product was prohibited in all licensed establishments. P&Z also set limits on the hours of operation for each license type. The one license type not permitted under the drafted regulations was cannabis cultivator (large-scale growing operation).

The public hearing on March 11 will precede the regularly scheduled P&Z meeting that night. On the regular agenda will be a newly submitted application for a subdivision on Honey Hill Road.

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