August 6, 2021: First Selectman Vicki Tesoro’s Statement on a temporary hold on the approval of a Non-Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Trumbull
On June 16, 2021, the Connecticut State legislature passed Senate Bill 1201. The bill was subsequently signed into law by Governor Lamont on June 22, 2021 and became effective on July 1, 2021. Among other things, this bill legalized the possession of cannabis and allows towns and cities to approve non-medical retail cannabis dispensaries in their communities. Although the bill is very detailed, completed regulations concerning certain aspects of the law, including non-medical cannabis retail dispensaries, have not yet been issued.
I am not opposed to the legalization of the possession of cannabis as defined in this new law, nor am I opposed to non-medical cannabis retail establishments. However, as a longtime advocate against underage drinking and drugs, I am concerned about the impact of the new law and retail non-medical cannabis dispensaries on our youth. Moreover, it is my belief that we must understand the regulations concerning these establishments and the impact these regulations have on all relevant stakeholders in the community. All of these stakeholders, including but not limited to the Board of Education, public safety organizations such as the police and emergency services, community organizations such as Trumbull’s Prevention Partnership (TPAUD), and others, should be involved in the conversations regarding a retail dispensary in our community. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is still developing these regulations and the best time to have these discussions will be when these regulations are released.
Again, as a longtime advocate against underage drinking and drugs, I am concerned that, whatever we do, we must have adequate protection in place for the youth of our town.
Based on the above, I believe the best course of action is to impose a temporary hold on permitting these establishments in Trumbull until such time as the regulations are issued by DCP and we can carefully study and discuss them with all stakeholders.
I am requesting that our Planning & Zoning Commission adopt the necessary revisions to our zoning regulations in order to put a temporary hold on allowing any such non-medical retail cannabis dispensary in Trumbull through August 31, 2022.
This is our opportunity to get this right so let’s take the time to do it the right way.