New London Planning and Zoning approves cannabis retail store on Bank Street

New London ― A marijuana dispensary received approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday to open a cannabis retail store on Bank Street.

The Curaleaf joint venture will be able to open its shop at 595 Bank St., the former vacant home of Fall River Pawn Brokers, if it obtains a cannabis retail license from the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. . Curaleaf is a national company that operates several marijuana dispensaries in Connecticut, including one in Groton.

The commission has given the applicant six months to obtain the required state permit or its approval will lapse.

Patrik Jonsson, who represents the Curaleaf joint venture and is the former regional president of Curaleaf, was present at the meeting. Jonsson agreed to agree with the condition and said that because it was a joint venture with social equity partners, he was guaranteed to have the opportunity to obtain a permit.

A Social Equity Partner is a business entity approved by the Social Equity Council portion of the state recreational cannabis law that gives preference to license applicants who locate retail establishments in cities. named as disproportionately affected by the so-called War on Drugs, including New London.

Three months ago, the applicant faced a zoning hurdle that prevented him from being approved.

In July, the Planning and Zoning Commission was unable to approve the site plan based on a bylaw passed earlier this year that would ban the retail sale of marijuana “if the land on which said building or premises is within 500 feet of any land on which a public or private school, library, public playground, park or recreational facility is situated”.

At the nearest point, the proposed dispensary property is 467 feet from city-owned property where the New London Birth to Age 8 Early Childhood Resource Center of BP Learned Mission is located. Separated by a four-lane road, the school at 40 Shaw Street is home to pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.

Curaleaf requested an amendment to change the zoning regulations.

At a meeting on September 1, the commission discussed the issue and decided to ensure that the “main entrance” to a marijuana dispensary cannot be within 500 feet of a school. , a library or a park.

On Thursday, the measure was no longer an issue and commissioners then questioned the claimant about safety details and the disposal of his products. According to city regulations, cannabis retail applicants must submit a safety plan with their application.

Commissioner Adam Sprecace asked Jonsson if he intended to have dedicated security at the company’s front door, as stated in the original request.

Jonsson said yes and it’s pretty typical to have someone at the door to check IDs.

“It’s our main duty, to check that no one comes through the door under the age of 21,” Jonsson said, adding that security “will keep an eye on everything that happens just outside the premises.”

Sprecace also read Curaleaf’s request and said “at no time will the dumpster contain expired or defective cannabis products” and asked for more information.

Jonsson said it was a state requirement that did not allow them to sell these products and they would be returned to the company or centralized facility where they came from. He said employees should “put it in a locked box” to ensure it is not consumed.

If open, the Curaleaf property will be the second marijuana retail location in the city. The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a marijuana retail operation at 436 Broad St., Dollar General Square near Colman Street.

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