FAIR HAVEN — The town’s Planning Commission is making it clear that a marijuana dispensary is not welcome in Fair Haven.
Commission members confirmed they are working on prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries as part of an update to the town’s zoning ordinance.
“We want to make sure it’s airtight,” commission member Bonnie Rosati said at a meeting Wednesday night.
She said the commission first discussed dispensaries when Act 65, which authorized four medical marijuana dispensaries around the state, was approved by the Legislature last year.
“We decided that we don’t want one in Fair Haven,” Rosati said. “We didn’t know the language to make it legally right.”
Act 65 allows municipalities to use either zoning or a special ordinance to forbid such facilities.
Rosati said Fair Haven went with the zoning option because an ordinance can be difficult to uphold. By zoning dispensaries out, it would ban them from all districts, giving the town more control to deny any application.
The topic of medical marijuana dispensaries was also brought up at a Select Board meeting earlier this week. Interim Town Manager William Humphries said the town had received a letter from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns discussing the proposed dispensaries, and he added his own opinion.
“As police chief, I don’t recommend it,” he said.
The Select Board unanimously passed a motion to support the Planning Commission’s efforts to keep such a facility out of town.
After the meeting, Humphries said Fair Haven’s police department was small and did not need the problems that such a facility might bring.
“It’s going to be a headache,” Humphries said.
The Rutland City Board Aldermen recently voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries and growing marijuana for such dispensaries within city limits.
Two dispensaries have been licensed so far — in Burlington and Waterbury. Rosati said Thursday that many municipalities are working on banning dispensaries, but they need the appropriate language.
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