Proposed Meriden medical marijuana dispensary gains local approval

MERIDEN — After making several site plan revisions, an East Main Street medical marijuana dispensary gained final approval from the Planning Commission on Wednesday night.

Concerns about a lack of parking were alleviated when the applicant agreed to purchase and raze a house next door. State licensing is still necessary for the project to move forward. 

If he receives a state license,  Richard Carbray, owner of Apex Pharmacy of Hamden, plans to convert the former automotive warehouse, at the corner East Main Street and Swain Avenue, into a dispensary. The application was submitted under the name FFD North LLC.

The state Department of Consumer Protection is accepting applications for medical marijuana licensing. The process is highly competitive, requiring an extensive application and $1,000 fee. The state plans to award up to 10 licenses by late summer or early fall. 

Nine dispensaries currently operate in Connecticut.

“This site, being so centrally located, makes a lot of sense to us and we’re hopeful the state will also see that,” Carbray said.

While the Planning Commission granted preliminary approval in March, concerns were raised about limited parking. Since then, Carbray has reached an agreement  to purchase and demolish the house at 19 Swain Ave. to make room for more parking. The home is assessed at $102,255 and owned by East Main Partners LLC. 

Updated plans also include facade improvements and landscaping.

“I think you guys have made great strides here,” Planning Commission alternate Kevin Curry said. 

In other business, the commission voted to approve an 111-unit senior living apartment complex at 406 Bee St.

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