WALLINGFORD — As a growing number of municipalities approve applications for medical marijuana dispensaries, Wallingford isn’t considering proposals because of federal law.
“The town’s position is that we can’t permit something that’s not legal at the federal level,” Town Planner Kacie Hand said, “so once it’s addressed at the federal level, we would treat it most likely as whatever their land use category is. So that’d be retail, or it could be manufacturing or production if it is a growery.”
After the Connecticut legislature passed a law in 2012 allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, the Planning and Zoning Commission added an amendment to its zoning regulations that prohibited any proposals that would violate local, state or federal laws.
“It wasn’t specific to medical marijuana,” Hand said. “We just realized the regulations needed to be clarified a little bit. Generally, with our zoning regulations, it’s never the intention to contradict any other law, ordinances, code, or anything of that nature.”
While medical marijuana is currently legal in 46 states, the federal government considers the drug a controlled substance.
“My personal concern is if something isn’t legal at the federal level, I have major concerns why you would want to authorize it within the boundaries of (the town),” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said. “You could be subject to law enforcement action by the federal government. Do you really want that?”
In light of the federal government’s inaction against states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, other area municipalities have taken a different stance on dispensaries.
The Southington Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a dispensary proposed for Knotter Drive after the town’s legal staff advised the commission to focus on whether the application satisfied town regulations.
“It’s not up to us to control the federal law, it’s up to us to make sure