Firm Appealing Marijuana Dispensary Decision

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A firm that sought town zoning approval to potentially allow a medical marijuana dispensary to operate in an industrial building on Commerce Road on March 20 was denied permission for such a use.

In response, the applicant, 18 Commerce Road, LLC, is appealing that decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The ZBA has scheduled a public hearing on the firm’s claim that the zoning enforcement officer erred in rejecting the proposed use. The hearing is slated for 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 4, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.

David Bonadio of 18 Commerce Road, LLC, said March 28 that he is appealing the town decision not to allow a dispensary because he is seeking to accommodate a potential tenant of the building who is interested in operating a dispensary there.

The 10,240-square-foot building, which is partially occupied, was built in 1978. It is located in a M-5 (Industrial) zone.

Besides a town endorsement to allow a dispensary, such a facility would require approvals from the state’s medical marijuana program, which is administered and licensed by the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

The DCP has extensive regulations to control the production, handling, and sale of medical marijuana to people who meet the medical requirements to use the substance.

In his March 20 rejection of allowing a dispensary, George Benson, town planning director, stated that town Land Use Agency staff members reviewed the extensive state regulations concerning the “palliative use of marijuana.”

The town’s zoning regulations do not allow medical marijuana dispensaries as permitted uses, according to Mr Benson. Only uses that are specifically listed in the zoning regulations are allowed, he said.

A dispensary is not considered a retail use because such dispensaries are not open to the general public,

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