Cromwell zoning board receives applications for marijuana facilities on Berlin Road

The applications, dated June 27, are the first of their kind to be submitted to the town since adult-use cannabis was legalized in Connecticut last year.

The first proposed facility would be located in a former laundromat at 33 Berlin Road previously occupied by Riverdale Cleaners. The application was submitted by the East Hampton-based 6 West Ave., which has proposed repurposing the vacant 3,184-square-foot laundromat into a retail pot facility.

The business’s proposed hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday, according to the application. The facility will also have about 40 employees who will be “compensated above market rate and will be provided benefits,” the application says.

“Our experience with retail cannabis locations is very positive and the municipalities where they are located would agree,” the application reads. “We believe with the correct operator, this type of retail establishment would be considerate of the town residents while providing a great contribution to the community and keeping public safety and welfare in mind.”

The second application, submitted on behalf of Bantry Bay Ventures, proposes to construct a new 5,000-square-foot building on 5.3 acres of vacant land at 5 Berlin Road.

The store would have about 15 to 23 employees, who will be working during regular business hours, according to the application. Customers would be required to place orders online before receiving a designated time slot for pickup.

When the PZC adopted zoning regulations for cannabis retailers, it promoted “new opportunities for economic development” in Cromwell, the application says. The proposed facility at 5 Berlin Road, the application continues, represents the “logical next step in the economic development process by bringing a new business to the area.”

PZC Vice Chairman Michael Cannata, who is listed as the owner of the vacant commercial parcel at 5 Berlin Road, has recused himself from voting on the application, Town Planner Stuart Popper said.

The board will consider the applications during separate public hearings at its Sept. 6 meeting, Popper added.

Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize adult-use cannabis last June, but recreational sales aren’t yet permitted. The state Department for Consumer Protection, which is responsible for regulating the adult-use market, is expected to issue provisional licenses later this year, spokesperson Kaitlyn Krasselt said.

According to the state, an applicant can obtain a retail license through a few different ways: going through the state’s lottery system, converting its medical dispensary to a hybrid retailer, applying as a social equity partner, or applying as an equity joint venture, among other options.

Last week, the Social Equity Council, the organization that oversees Connecticut’s cannabis equity initiatives, voted to forward five retail lottery applications to the DCP for further processing, the council said in a news release.

If approved for provisional licenses, the council said, retail applicants can prepare for full licensure from DCP, which would allow them to sell recreational cannabis directly to adult consumers or through a delivery service. Applicants who receive a provisional license will have 14 months to get their business up and running, Krasselt added.

The council also said in the news release it anticipates adult-use cannabis retail sales to begin in Connecticut by the end of 2022.

Some municipalities have adopted new zoning regulations pertaining to retail cannabis establishments in anticipation of their arrival. After a series of recent public hearings, Cromwell’s PZC approved regulations that would allow cannabis retailers to open in the highway business zone district.

Cannabis cultivators, or growers, are permitted to open in the industrial zone district, according to the PZC regulations.

The Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission approved zoning regulations in August 2021 allowing the retail and cultivation of cannabis as a special exception use in certain zones.

There is no population-based cap for the number of retailers or growers a town may have, the state’s marijuana bill says.

If granted special exception permits, the two Cromwell stores wouldn’t be allowed to open until their owners receive licenses from the DCP. The applicants for the proposed facilities couldn’t be immediately reached, and it’s unclear through which avenue they have applied for a retail license.

austin.mirmina@hearstmediact.com

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*