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Canton Considers Zoning Changes to Further Control Medical Marijuana Sale, Production

Regulations would add additional controls once state law takes effect.

With a new law that will soon allow the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana in Connecticut, the town is considering a couple of regulations not covered by the state.

Monday night, the Planning Commission looked at proposed Zoning Commission regulations to see if it found them consistent with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

The state law, effective Oct. 1, 2012, includes many safeguards, including only allowing licensed pharmacists to fill prescriptions.

Canton’s proposed regulation would also only allow medical marijuana's sale within a licensed pharmacy and by special exception.

While planning commission members ultimately endorsed a referral, some wondered how realistic it was that established pharmacies would sell the drug, when the federal government does not recognize state laws legalizing it.

“Are they going to run the risk of being raided by the feds?” chairwoman Rosemary Aldridge asked.

The change would prevent the drug being dispensed from numerous storefronts, which sometimes causes problems in other states, town planner Neil Pade said.

“That would be our local control,” Pade said.

The other major change would come in the cultivation of marijuana.

While the state will only allow between 3 and 10 growers, the town has received inquiries, Pade said. 

While there was some talk of banning such facilities, the proposed zoning regulation, based on suggestions from assistant town planner Roland Klee, would allow such a facility in industrial areas and reiterates that it be indoors, Pade said.

While commissioner Dave Evens said he objected to provisions in the state law that make it hard for a small business to run such a facility, he believes the secure, clean, hydroponic operations will be an economic boon for towns where they are located.

“It’s going to be a good piece of business,” Evens said.

While there was some talk of allowing such a business on farmland, the commission ultimately endorsed the proposed language.

A public hearing on the proposed regulations will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19.

For more on the state law, see this earlier article. 

Thomas August 07, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Let them grow! Maybe we could use the tax dollars to fix the roads!
zippythepinhead August 07, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Hmm what a coincidence ,CVS just happens to be the new licensed pharmacy in town , with a empty storefront in the building (special exception) ? just saying ....
Wyatt August 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM
No need for additional local regulations. Let the state handle this.
Eileen Moran August 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Doesn't "commissioner" David Evens have a hydroponic set up in his garage?? I can understand why he thinks it is such a great idea. Anything for a buck.
FlyingTooLow August 07, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I agree with Commissioner David Evens: "...he believes the secure, clean, hydroponic operations will be an economic boon for towns where they are located. 'It’s going to be a good piece of business,' Evens said." I am a major supporter of legalized marijuana. I share the 'fun side of pot' in my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank. I hope you check it out.
Andrew Ziemba August 07, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Oh god, just decriminalize the stuff already... it's nearly 2013..

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