Winsted Town Seal
Winsted Town Seal
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WINSTED — While they did not make any formal decisions, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission indicated at their meeting on Monday, June 28 that they would consider regulations on retail recreational marijuana sales, and cultivation.
After years of debate, the state legalized recreational marijuana on June 22 with Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signing a bill that legalized its use and cultivation.
The week before, the state legislature passed the bill.
The law, which took effect on July 1, has made Connecticut the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
Using recreational marijuana is now legal, but the state’s Department of Consumer Protection will not issue licenses to grow and sell it until the end of next year.
Retail sales would not be allowed by the state until next year.
However, under the new law existing medical marijuana dispensaries can also become retailers of recreational marijuana next year.
At the meeting, commission member Peter Marchand said that the owner of the medical marijuana dispensary Still River Wellness, located at 3568 Winsted Road in Torrington, is exploring the option of selling recreational marijuana.
The medical marijuana dispensary is on the border of both Winsted and Torrington, and according to its website at stillriverwellness.com, serves 3,000 patients.
Back in 2014, after considerable debate, the town approved the application for a medical marijuana dispensary in town by Nutmeg State Health Wellness Center.
However, the state rejected the company’s application.
Four years later in 2018, another applicant tried to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Winsted, but the dispensary never came to fruition.
According to the new law, cities and towns with a population higher than 50,000 would need to provide a designated area for public recreational marijuana consumption.
As Marchand pointed out, Winsted would not have to do this because its population is under 50,000; 7,121 residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
With the new law and its provisions to come into effect over the next year, Commission Chairman George Closson said it time for the town to think about rules and regulations for retail sales and cultivation of recreational marijuana in Winsted.
While he did not state whether or not if he was in favor of the new law, Closson was critical of legislators when he spoke at the June 28 meeting.
“After many nights of heavy drinking, they passed the marijuana bill,” Closson said.
“Are you sure they weren’t smoking it?” commission member Art Melycher said in response.
“I don’t know, you read this stuff, you go, ‘can you make this up?” Closson said. “I think part-time legislators are not part-time enough. There are already communities that have put a kibosh on retail sales. But it’s something we should be adding into our agenda to start a discussion.”

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