Should recreational cannabis dispensaries be allowed within Southington’s borders? It’s the question officials and the public will discuss during a Tuesday night meeting.
Southington is the latest town to host a public meeting to discuss how to move forward when it comes to the recreational sale of marijuana.
“Tonight’s meeting will be a discussion about if we like to prohibit these recreational dispensaries or allow where we might want those,” said Robert Hammersley, chair of Southington’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
The town already has zoning regulations in place for medical marijuana dispensaries according to town officials.
“We revised those probably about two years ago to geographically limit where those potential dispensaries were allowed,” said Hammersley.
Now that the state has legalized cannabis, the town is back to the drawing board when it comes to recreational sales and the public will have the chance to weigh in.
“We don’t often get the opportunity to create a new industry, we want to make sure that this is an industry that has long-sustaining jobs, good wages and good health insurance,” said Emily Sabo, director of organizing for UFCW Local 919. “This is an opportunity for residents to have a say-so rather than have an all out ban, this will also allow the town to determine how they want to implement regulations and ordinances related to cannabis.”
Those inside the town have different beliefs about bringing the recreational sale of cannabis to the town.
“I think it should be in town,” said Southing resident Barbara Baume. “I think it should come up to a vote because it impacts a lot of people.”
Baume said she’s all in on the efforts to bring recreational to the town. She also mentioned that she signed a petition to put it up for a public vote.
“I think that’s for the town to decide, it’s not for the town council to decide,” Baume said. “I think it should come up to a vote because it affects a lot of people.”
Despite the open discussion, not everyone is on board with bringing the dispensaries to town.
Trudy Robinson told NBC Connecticut she’s opposed to selling recreational cannabis in Southington but believes people should be able to buy and indulge if they stay off the roads.
“If people are going to do it at home in their own yards that’s fine,” said Robinson. “But, you know darn well they’re going to be out there smoking.”
Town officials say that a decision will not be made on Tuesday night.