Beacon Falls P&Z OKs moratorium on cannabis establishments

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

BEACON FALLS — The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a six-month moratorium on cannabis establishments in town.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in the state. Retail sale of recreational cannabis in Connecticut is not expected to begin until May 2022, at the earliest.

The commission unanimously approved the moratorium at its Aug. 19 meeting following a hearing. The moratorium blocks cannabis establishments, including cultivators and retailers, from opening town while it’s in place. It could last less than six months.

Officials said the moratorium allows the commission to review the new state law legalizing recreational marijuana, talk with town officials and the public, and determine what, if any, new zoning regulations to establish for recreational marijuana.

“I think the moratorium allows the commission to really feel its way through the process, understand what kinds of uses are available and then determine what is best for the community,” Town Planner Keith Rosenfeld said.

The commission could allow cannabis establishments through a special permit or ban the businesses, Rosenfeld said.

Commission Chairman Donald Molleur said he wants to set up a committee to work with Rosenfeld to research the subject and “get this ball rolling.”

Commission member Robert Starkey expressed concerns that officials are blocking businesses from coming to town.

“We just keep pushing all our businesses away,” Starkey said. “It seems like no matter what we try to bring in, some kind of crap stops it.”