Wilton proposes moratorium on cannabis sales in town

Wilton Town Hall

Wilton Town Hall

Jeannette Ross / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — The town has submitted a formal proposal for a text amendment to its zoning regulations to prohibit the sale of cannabis and cannabis-based products.

Town Planner Michael Wrinn submitted the proposal to the town on Sept. 8 on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The document states that “the purpose of this amendment is to temporarily prohibit the adult-use cannabis establishments in the Town of Wilton for a period of 12 months.”

“I think that should be plenty of time,” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said Thursday of the moratorium length. Once the state releases more information in the aftermath of June’s Senate Bill 1201, Vanderslice said the town will have ample time to weigh out its options.

Wrinn said he has seen a number of nearby municipalities take a similar stance. The Planning and Zoning Commission can pass this through the lens of zoning, essentially prohibiting any prospective cannabis business the opportunity of gaining approval for application through the commission for the duration of the moratorium. The commission’s reason for this, as discussed last month, is to be able to flesh out all possible effects of having cannabis-focused businesses in town.

This proposal is scheduled to be explained in a public hearing before residents on Sept. 27.

“We made the decision to put that question to the public,” Vanderslice said Thursday. “The voters will be able to make that decision on whether or not cannabis can be sold in Wilton.”

At a Board of Selectman meeting last month, Vanderslice and other town officials beckoned the help of attorney Nicholas Bamonte. One of the options that Bamonte laid out was to use the moratorium period as a way to sit back and observe the landscape, and also to allow for an eventual vote by registered Wilton residents.

The period of time that the text amendment states may also be extended by the town.

Included in the text amendment are specifications on which type of cannabis establishments will be covered under the act. Listed are, but not limited to, the following: Producer, dispensary facility, cultivator and retailer.

When asked if having cannabis-related businesses in town would help boost the local economy, Vanderslice simply said “no.”