Commissioners have stressed that amendment 735 is for medical, not recreational, marijuana and for people in serious pain for maladies ranging from glaucoma to cancer, as an alternative to opioids.
At the P&Z’s public hearing on May 18, commissioner Chip Stephens said he thought that the number of dispensaries be limited to one, so that the police department could monitor it to see if there were any adverse effects.
But tonight that number jumped to two following a discussion about the need for price options for those who require cannabis pharmaceuticals.
Since there are no price controls on medical marijuana, one dispensary could set one price and making it difficult for some patients to get medication, commissioners said.
The amendment carries the provision that such a dispensary be located 1,000 feet away from protected areas, including schools, daycare centers, parks, public buildings and houses of worship.
All medical marijuana dispensaries are regulated by the state’s Department of Consumer Protection and regulations stipulate that only active, licensed pharmacists may apply for a dispensary license.
The state also requires such facilities have security systems, that they restrict advertising and that they monitor operations and production facilities.
Currently there are nine such facilities in the state, with the closest ones in Branford and Bethel.
At its previous meeting, Stephens said a dispensary would be limited to a commercial zone, most likely in a strip mall on the Post Road, and that its shop would be discreet without outdoor advertising.
The topic has been on the P&Z’s agenda since 2013, but the commission had extended a moratorium on making a decision.