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May 19, 2019  |  

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2nd Marijuana Dispensary Site Approved in Old Saybrook

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At its Aug. 6 meeting, the Zoning Commission approved the town’s second medical marijuana dispensary site. Developers for both this application at 233 Boston Post Road and the earlier-approved proposal at 5 Custom Drive are now hoping to be one of 3 to 10 dispensaries to be approved by the state this year.

The State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is currently reviewing more than 75 applications from firms seeking a license for a new medical marijuana dispensary. Of those applicants, DCP has said it will pick between 3 and 10 to receive a dispensary license.

The new licenses will be awarded based on unserved needs of patients suffering from qualified illnesses. Those eligible to receive medical marijuana prescriptions at a DCP-licensed dispensary must have one of state law’s qualifying illnesses and have a doctor’s prescription.

Under town regulations, the proposed dispensary is permitted in the Gateway B-4 Zone that overlays the town’s easternmost stretch of the Boston Post Road. To win Zoning Commission approval on Aug. 6, Coastal Health and Wellness, LLC, had to demonstrate to the commission that its site plan for a retail pharmacy under the town’s regulations met the town’s zoning rules. By a unanimous vote, the commissioners agreed the site plan met the rules.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Christine Costa told the commission before the vote that Police Chief Michael Spera, as the town’s Traffic Authority, had submitted a letter expressing his opposition to the proposed medical marijuana dispensary due to traffic concerns.

Before the commission’s vote, Chairman Robert Friedmann reminded the panel that the dispensary site plan had fewer than 30 parking spaces, therefore, under the town’s zoning regulations, no traffic study was required.

The plan proposed renovation of an existing building at 233 Boston Post Road to accommodate the dispensary. The building currently houses the offices of MacDonald Sharpe & Associates, Civil Engineers. Coastal Health and Wellness proposed dedicating 2,600 square foot of the structure to the retail medical marijuana dispensary.

In the mixed use building, 1,400 square feet would be retained as engineering offices and 1,000 square feet on the second floor would be kept as the existing residential apartment.

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