P&Z Considers Medical Marijuana in Wilton

Just yesterday, the state of Connecticut announced their selection of four applicants to receive licenses to produce medical marijuana. But just one day before, at Monday evening’s Planning and Zoning meeting, the committee began discussing how the town of Wilton would handle prospective applications for producing or dispensing the substance, now that the state has legalized it for medical purposes.

On Monday evening the committee initiated an application as a formality to open the subject of medical marijuana production and dispensing in front of the board. There was no extended discussion by the commission, either for or against, but they did set a public hearing on the subject for Feb. 24.

At the conclusion of that February hearing, P&Z will close all further public discussion and begin a deliberation process, according to town planner Robert Nerney.

“At which point they can either approve [a] moratorium or deny the application.  An approved moratorium would establish a one-year stay on the acceptance of any applications, allowing the Commission time to develop land use policies to address the use,” he explained, in an email.

According to Nerney, a number of CT communities have opted to enact a moratorium on both the production and dispensing of medical marijuana. A moratorium basically lets officials temporarily turn away new applications in order to thoroughly study the matter and, if they wish, “adopt land use provisions to govern the location and conditions under which such uses may operate.”

Even though marijuana growing facilities would obtain licenses from the state, it’s up to towns, via zoning policy, to regulate the location and establishment of such facilities, and set other regulations, as it does for other businesses and enterprise.