FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield might become home to one of the state’s pharmacies licensed to sell medical marijuana.
Holding a public hearing on a request from a company called CT Wellness Centers wasn’t required by the town planner. But given the controversial nature of the request, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission opened the topic to public opinion.
The business would serve Fairfield County and possibly most of Connecticut if it were to receive one of the state's three to five licenses. The state's General Assembly approved the use of medical marijuana last year. Now, the state is trying to determine how to dispense the drug.
“This location seemed ideal, it seemed well situated,” Diane Whitney, attorney for the Fairfield-based CT Wellness Centers, said at Tuesday's public hearing.
However, the commission voiced a major concern about the amount of traffic that would be generated in Fairfield if it were home to the only or one of just a few legal medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
“My concern would be traffic,” Commission Vice Chair Seth Baratz said. “Is this going to be the destination for everyone in Fairfield County?”
And the answer from Whitney was yes, that until the state deemed the need was great, there would likely be only three to five dispensaries in the state. David Lipton, owner of CT Wellness Centers, said that even if there were another shop in Fairfield County, it wouldn't be in the town of Fairfield.
“At the moment, all we know is that there are 800 patients registered in the state,” Whitney said of the number of possible patients who might use medical marijuana.
Commission member Patricia Jacobson said that if the commission were to approve this request, the dispensary could issue appointments to the patients in order to control the flow of traffic into the location.
A similar compliance request was entered for a second medical marijuana dispensary location at 400 Post Road, although the commission tabled discussion regarding this address until its next meeting Sept. 24.
The public hearing regarding the CT Wellness Center application was continued into the next meeting. Fairfield Police Chief MacNamara is scheduled to speak on the security measures planned by Lipton’s company.
The state recently set rules for marijuana farms and shops. Read about it here on The Daily Voice.