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Some Connecticut Communities Taking Steps to Bar or Restrict Recreational Marijuana Sales

  • Several Connecticut towns and cities have established ordinances to prohibit recreational marijuana sales
  • A law passed earlier this year legalizes recreational marijuana use and possession in Connecticut, with retail sales expected to begin in 2022
  • Some municipalities are restricting but not banning recreational marijuana establishments

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Connecticut cities and towns are starting to establish their own rules on whether to welcome or shun marijuana retailers after a law passed earlier this year legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.

The law decriminalized the use and possession of recreational marijuana starting on July 1. The state is currently working to develop rules for retail dispensaries, with public sales expected to debut in 2022. However, the law also allows communities to establish ordinances to prohibit marijuana businesses.

Enfield was the most recent municipality to bar such enterprises, with its town council voting 6-3 in favor of this action on Sept. 7.

  • Other Connecticut communities that have banned recreational marijuana businesses include Avon, Greenwich, Newtown, Prospect, and Southington
  • Some communities have established milder restrictions, such as Danbury placing a one-year moratorium on new marijuana businesses and Meriden limiting the number of retail marijuana dispensaries in town to three
  • Several towns and cities are seeking residents’ feedback on the issue to help guide their decisions
  • Municipalities are also taking associated actions such as establishing bans on smoking marijuana in public areas
  • Supporters of ordinances banning marijuana businesses say they present a risk for public and youth safety, while opponents say it creates a needless restriction on new businesses

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