Alberti, Seery Talk Marijuana before Tonight’s Hearing in East Lyme

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EAST LYME – Both candidates for First Selectman of East Lyme agree that the voters should decide in a referendum whether to allow marijuana dispensaries in town, but Democratic candidate Camille Alberti said she doesn’t believe the town needs to impose a moratorium in the meantime. Selectman Kevin Seery, who is running as the Republican candidate to replace outgoing First Selectman Mark Nickerson, said the “pause” on marijuana dispensaries that the Board of Selectmen is considering would give the town a chance to take a good look at how the town wants to handle the new businesses.  “We understand marijuana

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Connecticut Towns Take Different Approaches to Allowing Marijuana Businesses

As many Connecticut towns take a wait-and-see approach to recreational marijuana — passing a moratorium to allow 6 months to a year to evaluate the situation — other towns are moving more quickly in an effort to provide clarity and allow preparations for potential applicants to enter the state lottery for growing and retail licenses next year. Laurie Zrenda, the former owner of the medical marijuana dispensary Thames Valley Relief in Uncasville, has taken a pro-active approach in hopes of securing a state permit to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary in her hometown of East Lyme. Zrenda said she bought

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Child Marijuana Poisonings Expected to Jump, UConn Wants Funding for the Response

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In a phone call with CT Examiner, Dr. Suzanne Doyon, medical director at the Connecticut Poison Control Center, discussed a request to fund two additional positions in an anticipation of a significant rise in child poisonings given the recent legalization of recreational marijuana. Doyon said she was most concerned about an increase in small children ingesting edibles, which she said make up about half the calls the center receives each year.  Even before the legalization, Doyon said, calls had been on the rise.  “I’m just concerned because children being admitted to the ICU… it’s just not fun,” she said.  Doyon

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Mayors Debate a Legal Obligation to Allow at Least Limited Public Use of Marijuana

Legislation that legalized recreational marijuana in Connecticut beginning July 1, also includes a provision that any city or town with a population of more than 50,000 must “designate a place in the municipality in which public consumption of cannabis is permitted.”  19 municipalities across Connecticut fit that requirement, and leaders of all of those cities and towns are currently navigating how best to implement the law at the local level. For Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu of Bristol, the question is not necessarily designating a specific area for smoking, but rather, figuring out whether Bristol will place any limits on the public

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Middletown Approves Rules Allowing Marijuana Cultivation and Sale

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MIDDLETOWN – The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday approved regulations that would allow the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Middletown, without taking action on the commission chair’s proposal to allow cultivation in residential zones that currently allow farming. The regulations approved by the commission allow “micro-cultivation” in three of the city’s four industrial zones – not including the I-3 zone that sits along the Connecticut River – its Interstate Trade zone along I-91, and its transitional development and industrial redevelopment zones. The commission also approved allowing marijuana retail sales in the city’s general business district – which

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Marijuana Law Sparks Questions About Process and Corporate Interests

Connecticut’s new recreational marijuana law established a social equity council tasked with ironing out the implementation of equity components of the legislation.  The council held its inaugural meeting Thursday morning, where they passed a list of geographical areas deemed to be disproportionately affected by the war on drugs — and debated the speed of the process and fears that equity would be quickly co-opted by corporate interests. The state plans to prioritize applicants for marijuana licenses who hail from those communities.   Gov. Ned Lamont’s associate policy director, Patrick Hulin, presented a list of disproportionately impacted areas compiled by the governor’s

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Recreational Marijuana Law will Phase in Funding of Social Equity and Substance Abuse Programs

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Connecticut’s new recreational marijuana law went into effect July 1, 2021, and over the next five years, the Office of Fiscal Analysis anticipates that the state will see nearly $75 million in new revenue due to the regulation and taxation of the recreational marijuana market.  Lawmakers spent the first half of the year debating the bill, and many of the points of tension  centered on where that money would go. In Gov. Ned Lamont’s original proposal, half of that revenue would go towards low-income communities in the state, and the other half would have funded the payment in lieu of

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