PITTSFORD — Any further discussion regarding a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in town was postponed until the first Wednesday in December to allow all Select Board members to have the opportunity to weigh in on the issue.
The four members of the Pittsford board — Chairman Hank Pelkey, Allen Hitchcock, Thomas Hooker and Jane Cornell — briefly discussed whether or not the town should allow a dispensary in Pittsford at the board’s meeting Wednesday.
“I believe there are several members on the board not in favor of it and there are several members on the board in favor of it,” said Pelkey on Monday. “I am not sure what the decision will be.”
He said the response to the proposal by town residents has been different for each selectman receiving feedback: some citizens are in favor of the proposal, some are indifferent, and others oppose the dispensary. Pelkey said because Selectman Joseph Gagnon was not in attendance the board decided to table the discussion until Dec. 5.
“On a decision of this magnitude we try to have the full board, (rather than) try to do it with four us, unless there is a time frame,” Pelkey said. “There is no time frame (for this proposal).”
The board chairman said they are hoping to find more information on security precautions for marijuana dispensaries before making a decision.
According to Vermont’s medical marijuana law, a dispensary can be sited in a community provided the town or city hasn’t adopted an ordinance prohibiting it, or provided the town has no zoning regulations that would forbid it. Pelkey said the board will consider all their options before making any determination.
Pittsford’s board first heard about the proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary from Alexandra Ford, who heads Rutland County Organics, a nonprofit corporation certified to set up one of the four dispensaries allowed in the state. Under the unofficial proposal, Ford highlighted some of the security measures that would be adopted, including the installation of steel doors where the marijuana is grown and a 24-hour security presence enhanced by surveillance cameras. Clients also must be on a state-certified list of patients approved for the use of medical marijuana, and will need to schedule a consultation with dispensary staff before being served.
Two dispensaries have already been approved in Burlington and Waterbury. Ford said there are approximately 150 patients in the southern part of Vermont who do not have ready access to medically prescribed marijuana.
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