P&Z Endorses Medical Marijuana Dispensary For Commerce Road

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Following lengthy discussion at a June 7 session, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members in dual split votes created new zoning regulations, which allow a medical marijuana dispensary as a permitted land use, and also approved a special zoning permit for such a dispensary, which has been proposed for an existing industrial building at 18 Commerce Road (pictured above).

Whether such a dispensary is created at that location will be decided by the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). The department recently received more than 70 applications for new dispensaries, which would augment the existing nine dispensaries.

The DCP is expected to approve somewhere between three and ten new dispensaries in the state. In this area, a dispensary does business on Garella Road in Bethel. The are approximately 27,000 people in the state qualified to receive medical marijuana, of whom about 5,600 live in Fairfield County.

DCP spokeswoman Lora Rae Anderson said June 8, “We received 73 applications that are currently under review and hope to announce our decisions by sometime this fall.” Before the DCP would consider 18 Commerce Road as a possible dispensary location, the P&Z needed to create zoning regulations explicitly allowing such a land use and issue a special zoning permit for that land use for that location.

All five regular members of the P&Z voted on both the proposed new zoning rules and the special zoning permit. In both votes, the split was 3-2 in favor, with Chairman Don Mitchell, Jim Swift, and Barbara Manville in favor, and Robert Mulholland and Corinne Cox opposed.

A firm known as 18 Commerce Road LLC, which owns the building at that address, submitted both applications. The property owner proposes using a currently vacant approximately 5,000-square-foot section of the about 10,000-square-foot building for

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