New proposal aims to ban non-medical marijuana shops in town
WESTPORT — A ban on marijuana businesses in Westport was introduced by two members of the Representative Town Meeting at the legislative body’s meeting Tuesday night.
The proposed ordinance, co-sponsored by RTM members Greg Kraut and Jimmy Izzo, follows the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision last June to approve a medical marijuana shop in town, which is set to open on the Post Road this summer.
“Westport set up medical marijuana dispensaries to proactively aid in the health of our residents, so now we must proactively protect our residents safety and financial well-being by limiting Westport’s marijuana businesses to one medical marijuana facility,” Kraut said at the meeting.
In the ordinance, a “marijuana business” will include establishments such as marijuana cultivators, distributors and retailers, but not medical marijuana dispensaries, which are allowed under Westport’s zoning regulations.
Kraut said the ban is necessary to prevent Westport’s medical marijuana facility from becoming a recreational marijuana facility. He cited five bills submitted to the state Legislature this year that would allow for the sale of recreational marijuana in Connecticut, in addition to Gov. Ned Lamont’s endorsement for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Recreational marijuana is unsafe because police do not yet have the technology to check for marijuana use in drivers, Kraut said.
Kraut’s co-sponsor, Izzo, said a ban on marijuana businesses is the common-sense policy to complement the upcoming opening of the medical marijuana facility in town.
The proposed ban will next go before the RTM Ordinance Committee on March 25 for review.
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