New Milford Mayor Pete Bass on Why the Town is Waiting on Weed
When the State of Connecticut legalized the retail sale of recreational cannabis products, they added an important caveat, allowing each municipality to opt in or out.
Very few CT towns and cities rushed to the dog bowl and many of them put a moratorium on it. Each municipality has handled it in a different way and that makes sense because each community has its own concerns. For example, Danbury initially put a moratorium on retail weed, eventually opted in and a shop is coming soon to the Hat City.
New Milford also put a moratorium on recreational shops and they are still in the process of deciding what to do. As we await their answer, many in the community want to know what factors are being weighed?
So, we asked New Milford Mayor Pete Bass to join us on the I-95 Morning Show. Mayor Bass agreed and alerted our listeners to some state changes that most people probably did not know about. This is what the Mayor told us on Wednesday (1/18/23):
"The town council, in our last meeting decided to put a moratorium on it. And, the reason being, first of all we want to see how other towns that are selling recreational cannabis, how they are doing, how all of that works. And the state still is changing some of the rules that they started with and I can give you an example. So, at the very beginning, they were going by population size to talk about how many of these shops could open up. Here in New Milford, based on our size of less than 30,000, in the very beginning was going to be one shop. Well, they changed that to where its going to be unlimited."
That is a monstrous change that can really impact the decision making process and it begged an important question, can the town decide they want to make rec weed available while capping the amount of shops in the area? This is what the Mayor had to say:
"We've asked our town attorney to opine on that for us, Randy DiBella, our town attorney from Cramer and Anderson. And he basically spoke at our last town council meeting as well and there are a lot of changes that happened from when they first did it. It's kind of a new update, some rulings that they did back in the late summer. We just want to make sure, you know now the legislators are going back to Hartford in February. There has been talk that they may tweak this or make some changes to it. So, we just want to make sure. This is a brand new offering and we just want to make sure we do it in the best way we can for New Milford."
I think that is a significant consideration. Even the biggest proponents of retail weed would probably agree, they don't want their town overrun with recreational cannabis shops.
You can listen to our recreational weed discussion with the Mayor below.