Connecticut attorney Heath D. Harte issued a statement today speculating on the potential legal pitfalls that can present themselves to individuals becoming involved with medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
According to a report from the Hartford Courant (State Allows Marijuana Growers In West Haven, Portland, Simsbury, Watertown, 1/28/2014), the state of Connecticut has issued four licenses to produce medical marijuana legally in the state.
According to the report, the state had expected to issue only 3 licenses until the number of patients certified to receive marijuana as treatment jumped from 900 to approximately 1,700. Attorney Heath D. Harte commented on the potential legal issues that could arise for a town hosting a dispensary or a producer of marijuana.
“There can be many potential pitfalls for a town hosting one of these facilities,” said Harte. “The production and sale of marijuana is still considered a felony under federal law, so it will be very interesting to see how these businesses will be zoned, and the reaction that local police will take.”
“It is possible that these facilities could have an economic impact on the towns that host them as well,” said Harte. “Whether that will be positive or negative remains to be seen, and depends on how aggressive the federal government will be in shutting them down, if they choose to do so at all.”
Harte also outlined a number of questions that would need to be answered before the impact of the facilities on the towns hosting them could be gauged accurately.
“What kind of local zoning regulations do we need? How will this impact charges for possession of drugs within 1500 feet of a school? Should we regulate the size of signage outside the dispensary? What about the location? Should that and the distance from playgrounds, schools, daycares, etc also be regulated?” Harte asked. “One thing is certain; the door has certainly been opened for more legal debate.”
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