Members of the Hartford Selectboard have no objections to the medical cannabis dispensaries operating in the town after the board was informed that at least two expansion applications target the municipality, according to a Valley News report.
“I think that it would be a really good opportunity, now that we know so early, to open up that community discussion,” said Selectboard member Rebecca White in the report. “Because I think that once people meet people who are actively seeking medical marijuana, I think that myth of the lowlife, the lazy person not contributing to the community, will go away.”
Lindsey Wells, chair of the Department of Public Safety’s Medical Marijuana Registry, indicated that the agency has sent “a few other questions” to the applicants that they would like addressed prior to approving the site. The applications are reviewed by a Legislature-approved panel, and during a July 19 meeting, Wells indicated that approvals for the satellite locations for current operators are expected on Sept. 11.
Current licensed medical cannabis operators are allowed one additional dispensary under a law expanding the state’s medical cannabis program signed by Gov. Phil Scott on June 8. The Public Safety Department on July 25 announced the proposed locations for the satellite sites, but state law requires dispensary applications remain confidential, so the announcement did not include which company is targeting which municipality. However, Hartford Town Manager Leo Pullar told the News that the town had received an inquiry from Montpelier-based dispensary Vermont Patients Alliance.
Hartford Police Chief Phil Katsen has expressed some concerns about what impacts a dispensary could have on community safety, but Pullar said the “regulations and security requirements placed on [the] facilities are tremendous.”
“In the end, it is a legal, licensed and regulated business in the state of Vermont,” he said, adding that he would write letters to the applicants informing them that there are no ordinances prohibiting cannabis industry operations in the town.