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Legislator: Connecticut's Medical Marijuana Law Lacks Language on Schools

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.

Legislator: Connecticut's Medical Marijuana Law Lacks Language on Schools
By  Jason Bagley 

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.

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