Guilford Selectmen Set Date for Marijuana Moratorium Public Hearing


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GUILFORD — The Board of Selectmen voted Monday to hold another public hearing to discuss extending the temporary moratorium on marijuana outlets in town. 

The meeting is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at Town Hall.

First Selectman Matthew Hoey told the board that there have been ongoing conversations about what will be permissible regarding marijuana shops. The last public hearing on the topic took place in August, during which Hoey said he was working on a draft ordinance.

“Originally, the sentiment was this whole thing would be outlined, including determining the number of available establishments, which zones they can be in,” he said, adding nothing can be in a residential area.

Hoey said he’s hoping to have a “working document by the end of the year. When we finally can present it to the community, we can say this is the way we will allow it to happen.”

He also questioned the moral aspects of allowing one type of marijuana establishment over another, asking why marijuana cultivation should be any more or less significant than retail.

“You can’t be a little bit pregnant,” Hoey said. “If your objection is that it’s dangerous, why is cultivation any less significant than retail? If we say it’s OK to sell marijuana, why is it not OK to distribute it or cultivate it? It seems inconsistent.”

Selectman Charles Havdra said most of the objections he’s heard center around retail stores, and that he sees a distinction between cultivation and retail.

In July, Hoey told CT Examiner that the draft ordinance would include limitations on the number of marijuana establishments, restricting establishments to specific zones, distancing them from schools, churches and day care centers, and determining whether establishments would include just retail or include cultivation.

At any point, he said, the board could lift the moratorium and the Planning and Zoning Commission would have to accept applications for marijuana-related businesses.