While some cities and towns considering banning cannabis shops, Norwich is embracing them. On Friday, the city hosted a cannabis informational session. It gave people an opportunity to learn about the state law and the industry as well as how it could benefit the community.
As the cannabis industry in the state begins next year, Norwich is looking to pave the way for that new business.
“We are open for business as a City of Norwich. And we are willing to do the hard work to make sure all the regulations are in place,” said Swaranjit Singh, a newly elected city councilor and a member of the Norwich Community Development Corporation.
The Norwich Community Development Corporation hosted an event that brought in dozens of people wanting to listen, learn, and network. Speakers broke down the new state law, discussed licenses and fees, and talked about other opportunities, including educational.
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“This is going to be what the future holds. We’ve proved that in a bunch of other states already. Better to embrace it than fight it for sure,” said Norwich resident Ethan Itchkawich.
We’re opening the cannabis industry for Connecticut, and there are so many opportunities for people to get involved on many, many levels,” said Connecticut Social Equity Council Interim Executive Director Ginne-Rae Clay.
State and local officials say it can also help build communities. The Social Equity Council, which was created as part of the marijuana bill, says funds they receive will go back into those neighborhoods that need it the most.
“We’re looking at doing very grassroots economic reinvestment in communities that have been disproportionately impacted,” said Clay.
“It has an opportunity to reach all of our people who live here and benefit them. That’s something unique. You don’t normally see anything sponsored by the state have that ability to reach across all spectrums like that,” said Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom.
Nystrom says he was against the recreational marijuana legislation, but with it passed, he says it’s about welcoming businesses in with revenue that can help the entire city.
“If we can provide jobs in our community, help the rest of the community itself with enhanced revenue for the municipality, it’s not my place to stay in a corner,” said Nystrom.
Norwich Community Development Corporation says they plan to have more of these information sessions. To see the presentation missed at the session and to learn more about NCDC, you can head here: https://askncdc.com/
To learn more about the Connecticut Social Equity Council, you can head here: https://portal.ct.gov/socialequitycouncil/