Prospect Bans Recreational Cannabis Establishments

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Governor Ned Lamont is expected to sign the recreational cannabis bill into law on Tuesday.

Adults will be able to legally have a limited amount starting July 1, though stores potentially would not open until sometime next year.

And while opponents have not been successful in blocking the legislation so far, at least one town has found a way to limit its impact.

“Everyone kind of agreed with me they didn’t want it in town,” said Mayor Robert Chatfield, R – Prospect.

Chatfield and others are worried about what cannabis could bring to Prospect.

NBC Connecticut's Christine Stuart discusses the legal questions surrounding legalizing recreational marijuana in Connecticut.

“My personal fear is that a person could give it to a younger person under 21 and I’m very concerned about DWI starting all over again,” said Chatfield.

At a virtual town Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last week, everyone who spoke backed banning recreational marijuana stores from setting up in their community for now.

“I don’t want to see it here. It’s a gateway to pandora’s box. I don’t want to see opened in this town,” one community member said.

While no one spoke against the ban, the mayor pointed out he isn’t opposed to medical marijuana.

In an unanimous vote, the commission approved the prohibition on cannabis establishments including those that grow or sell it.

Many spoke about how this buys the town time to get ahead of the game and study the issue better.

“Allows us to get a better handle on what the law is,” said Chatfield.

After the State Senate finally passed the bill last week, Governor Lamont said he believed lawmakers got the legislation right.

He also pointed out that he thinks it has a real emphasis on equity.

“People have been working on this for 10 years. It’s been a long time coming. I think we have a good bill that puts public health first,” said Lamont.

Prospect is considering informational meetings so people can learn more about this bill.

While the mayor favors keeping the prohibition, others suggested it was more of a temporary measure.

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