ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Stay Connected
ADVERTISEMENT


Cannabis considered


Wallingford officials acted with perceptive foresight in authorizing an interim, nine-both ban on medical marijuana dispensaries filing applications with the town.

Members of the Planning and Zoning commission originally proposed this moratorium. The idea is to reconsider municipal ordinances in advance of the inevitable opening of medicinal-cannabis dispensaries and growing operations in Connecticut. Last year, state lawmakers authorized medical marijuana, and now expect to award three licenses for producers, and five for sellers, in the beginning of 2014. One of these businesses already is eying a location in Meriden.

Wallingford zoning regulations are compliant with federal law in deeming marijuana illegal for any purposes. But the code does not mention medicinal pot, because the substance was not as prominent when the laws were first drafted. Therefore, it would be wise to update legal language in light of the expanding medical cannabis market. For instance, town decision-makers understandably may not want these operations in or near school zones. Permissible business hours should be set, as should any additional municipal guidelines that officials believe necessary.

Moreover, as astutely pointed out by Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. in our Dec. 4 news story, Wallingford officials require time to deliberate on the difference between state and federal law regarding cannabis. Nationally, medical marijuana remains illegal. But Connecticut and 19 other states have authorized its use. Elsewhere in the country, this legislative discord has already caused problems. Federal agents have raided businesses and arrested involved parties, a complicated scenario which could prompt a protracted legal mess.

“There are some serious unknowns,” Dickinson aptly reflected on the matter. Nine months is sufficient time to explore how these unknowns could affect Wallingford should a marijuana operation attempt to move in.

Which is entirely possible. Legal pot is a burgeoning business in America. Two states — Colorado and Washington — have already authorized cannabis even for non-medical, recreational consumption. Although Connecticut so far has allowed pot purchase just for patients with severe afflictions, given trends in other states, more liberal retail laws could be but years away.

With a solid pro-business reputation, Wallingford is an appealing place to open up shop. Under current regulations, the town would not be able to turn away a marijuana operation, despite legitimate concerns expressed by numerous municipal officials. Thus, local leaders were right to implement the nine-month moratorium — to better prepare for what could bloom into a tricky situation in the future.



Back to Editorials
Top Stories of the Week

Four charged after man stabbed in neck outside Meriden residence …
MERIDEN — A police investigation led to the arrest of four people this month on assault charges stemming from a fight outside a Springdale Avenue … more ...

Police: Former employee and accomplice stole cash register from Meriden …
MERIDEN — Two city women face burglary charges after police say they stole a cash register from a Colony Street restaurant. The owner of the … more ...

Wilcox principal on leave, letters detail ‘leadership and communication’ issues …
MERIDEN — Lisa Hylwa, the principal of Wilcox Technical High School, was placed on administrative leave in January pending an investigation by the state technical … more ...

Man who drove killer of Meriden convenience store owner accepts …
MERIDEN — Willie Breyette, the New Britain man accused of being an accomplice in the 2012 killing of a 70-year-old convenience store owner, agreed to … more ...

Meriden man charged after calling 911 nine times in one …
MERIDEN — Police say a city man was arrested on multiple charges after he called 911 several times on one night but would not cooperate … more ...

Latest Comments