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CT Medical Marijuana Law Lacks Language on Schools, Says Milford Legislator

State Rep. James Maroney says language about a federal law on proximity to schools needs to be added to the new state law to avoid conflict.

Credit: Patch File Photo
Credit: Patch File Photo

Milford’s freshman state representative wants to save the feds some paperwork.

Federal law prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries from setting up within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other institutions.

But that language is not included in Connecticut's new medical marijuana law, State Rep. James Maroney said in a release Wednesday.

And Maroney says that’s problematic with the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) expected to start awarding licenses next month.

So he recently sent a letter to the DCP urging the department to add the language before the federal government starts serving its own letters to those who open a dispensary in the 1,000-foot buffer – like it has done many times with good result in Colorado.

“I wanted to congratulate the DCP’s staff on their diligence in implementing what I believe to be the strongest medical marijuana law in the country,” said Maroney, who also represents Orange in the 119th Assembly District.

“But at the same time, I wanted to point out the omission … concerning a 1,000-foot buffer zone around schools, religious and other institutions,” he said.

According to the Denver Post: “Colorado law specifies that dispensaries must be at least 1,000 feet from schools but also allows local governments to shrink that distance or grandfather in existing dispensaries.”

Milford officials are currently mulling these options; specifically, whether to draft new zoning regulations for prospective dispensaries or have applicants apply for zoning approval via a special exception permit.

The second route would give the board “a lot of leeway” in determining whether a location is suitable for its proposed use, City Planner David Sulkis said earlier this month.

Milford's two-month moratorium on accepting applications for both dispensers and growers expires Feb. 27.

RONALD M GOLDWYN January 23, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Dear Jim, Why must we reinvent the wheel? if federal law prohibits the location of Marijuana locations why must the state duplicate the law? If the Milford P&Z Board is going to write a law for such shops, why not just include restrictions in the zoning laws that they will be writing. Let it be a model for the rest of the State.` BTW, Brian made the Deans List.
Mark Lofthouse January 24, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Nice work James. Glad we agree on this one. I am amazed that when the Medical Marijuana law was crafted that they missed this little dandy. The devil is in the details.

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