NORWALK – A committee will consider whether to impose a temporary ban on cannabis establishments within Norwalk, a departure from city officials’ early stance against limiting the product’s use.
The Common Council’s Ordinance Committee is set to discuss and potentially vote on the “Temporary Prohibition of all Cannabis Establishments” on Tuesday evening, according to the meeting agenda.
“In accordance with the authority granted under Connecticut State Regulation of Cannabis, all Cannabis Establishments are prohibited in all zoning districts in the City of Norwalk for a period of 9 months,” the agenda read. “It shall be effective 10 days following approval by the City of Norwalk’s Common Council.”
“Cannabis establishments,” as defined by the June 2021 Special Session Public Act, are producers, dispensary facilities, cultivators, micro-cultivators, retailers, hybrid retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, product manufacturers, products packagers and delivery services or transporters.
Recreational cannabis use was legalized in Connecticut in July, with some municipalities immediately taking steps to limit the use.
Norwalk officials, however, said at the time there were no plans to bar cannabis businesses or limit smoking in the city limits beyond what is already in place for cigarette smoking.
Included in the law, signed by Gov. Ned Lamont on June 22, is a provision that will require cities with a population greater than 50,000 to create outdoor spaces specifically intended for using marijuana. The cities “must designate a location in the municipality where public consumption is allowed,” according to an Office of Legislative Research analysis of the bill.
Norwalk is one of the 19 cities that falls into the population requirement, but city spokesperson Josh Morgan said at the time there were no plans to limit marijuana use in the city beyond the regulations already outlined in the state law.
“Private businesses and landlords can also prohibit use,” Morgan said in July. “Locations, such as city buildings, train platforms, bus stops, hospitals, school grounds and playgrounds, and certain areas of our parks and beaches, will remain smoke and vape free, just like they are now for tobacco products.”
The reason behind the city’s apparent change of heart regarding cannabis businesses in Norwalk was not specified in the meeting documents.