EDITORIAL: Cannabis moratorium is a careful way forward

Those who supported marijuana legalization can’t be blamed for feeling they’ve crossed a finish line, now that Connecticut has legalized recreational use. But it could be also recognized that it’s just the beginning, with lots of challenging work ahead.

Communities, which are made up of all sorts of levels of enthusiasm, including the lack of it, when it comes to legalization, are working at how to respond. In Southington recently, the Democratic Town Committee released a statement in support of letting voters decide whether or not there should be marijuana dispensaries in town.

Recreational marijuana for those 21 and over became legal in Connecticut on July 1. How municipalities want to move forward is the question.

In Meriden, a sensible proposal was offered recently to enact a three-month moratorium on new marijuana establishments, lasting from August 6 to November 19. During that time no new establishments would be allowed and no applications reviewed.

The idea is to give the city some time to figure out the best way forward when ot comes to adopting zoning regulations. The topic came under discussion during a meeting of the City Council’s Economic Development, Housing and Zoning Committee. As the Record-Journal noted, Meriden is among several communities in the state considering a moratorium.

Paul Dickson, Meriden’s acting director of Development and Enforcement, said three months should give time to develop a proposal for zoning regulations and for a public hearing. Meriden already has medical marijuana production, in areas zoned for industrial use.

The committee learned from Economic Development Director Joseph Feest that the city has already received meeting requests from establishments that want to set up shop. “People are interested in us and how we go about doing this,” he said.

All the more reason to take it slow, or at least take a little time to figure how the city wants to go about accommodating the new legalization. It’s taken a long time to get to this point and while there is economic opportunity at the doorstep opening that door doesn’t have to be seen as a pressing need. A three-month moratorium is a good idea when it comes to helping the city decide how best to move forward.





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