Stamford Advocate

Darien considers temporary ban on selling recreation­al pot

- By Katrina Koerting

DARIEN — Town officials are considerin­g a temporary ban on selling recreation­al marijuana in town following the new law that went into effect this summer.

The town already prohibits the sale of marijuana under its current zoning laws, but the Planning and Zoning Commission is considerin­g a more formal moratorium similar to ones passed in Greenwich and Westport.

“The town of Darien zoning regulation­s have never allowed the sale of marijuana,” said Jeremy Ginsberg, Darien’s planning and zoning director said at a recent meeting. “That continues to be the standard in the regulation­s. Nobody has changed that.”

He said more communitie­s though, especially those in Fairfield County, are starting to pass one- or two-year moratorium­s now that the state allows recreation­al cannabis facilities.

Ginsberg said Darien’s planning commission can take a similar approach and draft a formal proposal with background on the topic that would add a specific section in the regulation­s specifying it’s not allowed.

Moratorium­s can be overturned by referendum, officials said. People also aren’t allowed to grow marijuana or cannabis in town, something officials are also considerin­g continuing.

Commission chairman Stephen Olvany said the law allows growing in industrial zones, but there aren’t any of those zones in Darien.

He said he’s also asked for some input from the police chief before the commission makes a decision.

Some commission­ers said the moratorium would give them a chance to gather more input from what nearby communitie­s are doing, including cities and smaller towns more similar to Darien’s makeup. This includes the selling, growing and cultivatin­g parts of the operation and in what kinds of zones.

“There are certain communitie­s that do want these in their communitie­s because it is a tax revenue issue,” Olvany said.

Ginsberg said other towns are just starting to work on such regulation­s, but would pass along feedback to the commission about where other municipali­ties stand.

“Keep in mind the law just took effect July 1, so it’s only been in effect for 66 days or so,” he said. “It hasn’t been around long.”

 ?? Dreamstime / TNS ?? A marijuana plant.
Dreamstime / TNS A marijuana plant.

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