Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: 2 More Sites Proposed

When the Planning & Zoning Commission holds a public hearing on April 19 (7 p.m., Town Hall), they’ll consider a special permit and site plan for a medical marijuana dispensary on the 2nd floor of the old Bertucci’s restaurant.

That site has been the subject of controversy for weeks.

But they’ll also consider special permits and site plans for 2 new locations.

One is for 1460 Post Road East: the shopping center where Pier 1 Imports used to be. (Much older Westporters know it as the old bowling alley.)

After Pier One moved out, a pop-up Halloween shop opened briefly at 1460 Post Road East.

The other is for 1803 Post Road East. That’s the smaller shopping plaza across from Stop & Shop, with Stanton Miles and Jennifer Furniture.

1803 Post Road East

Click here for the official notice.

26 responses to “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: 2 More Sites Proposed

  1. Michelle Benner

    Is there really that much of a demand for medical marijuana in Westport thst we need a dispensary here? Honestly curious.

  2. Beatriz Maldonado

    Is there still a meeting about this tonight April 5th @ 7:00 pm or has it been posponed to the 19th?

  3. Please note that the P&Z Hearing TONIGHT at 7PM will continue the one pending application for the 7,000sf DXL building and a new proposal at the location of the Wesport Dance Academy. The reason the Bertucci’s application has been pushed to the 19th is because the application failed the 1000′ restriction from a “public building” and instead of denying it the P&Z left the application open. Thereafter the applicant submitted a proposed change to the medical marijuana text amendment to change the definition of “public building” so the Bertucci’s would then comply. The P&Z will vote on that change and THEN the Bertucci’s application on the 19th. More importantly, PLEASE attend the hearing tonight and voice your opinion before it’s too late. There are now FIVE medical marijuana applications before the P&Z. Has anyone actually been duped into believing these applications are only about medical marijuana? According to the applicant’s testimony they want a “discreet” location, not allowed to advertise and don’t need to, because their clients are told by their doctor where these dispensaries are, they aren’t allowed more than about an 11X17 sign, non-illuminated. Then ask yourselves why they need a billboard retail location like DXL? Why is the same applicant proposing a dispensary and a spa in the 7,000 sf DXL? It’s simple. Once recreational marijuana is legalized Westport will be known as the town with the 7,000sf headshop at the heart of town. Don’t allow this. This is a medical use and should be in an office building with no outside signage. Let a private office building owner enforce his lease to not allow recreational sales in the future, not spend Town money to prevent the change and face an expensive court battle. Please ask the P&Z to deny all these applications and change the text amendment as necessary, just like the Bertucci’s applicant is trying to do. An office building location without outside signage will serve the needs of the applicants and our neighbors that need the medical marijuana, but also would protect the majority of our neighbors and our kids. PLEASE ATTEND THE HEARING TONIGHT!

  4. And I wonder how many against will be in attendance at either of these after dinner meetings where they consumed a glass of wine with said meal? This is medicine and treatment for sick people! If/when it becomes legal for recreational in CT, we may be shooting ourselves in the foot, as all other towns will be able to have dispensaries including the new mall, why bother shopping in Westport anymore then. Westport will be known as the backwards town that is the only town without a dispensary like Wilton was until a few years ago with no liquor stores. It didn’t stop Wilton residents from drinking and not having a dispensary will never stop those who want marijuana from obtaining, it just stops the town from revenue. Have the same conversation with your children about the dangers of any substance that may alter your state. I can’t renember one Westport school event – from pasta dinners to football games where parents were not consuming alcohol, of course then they have to drive after so that’s a great message these “concerned citizens” are sending to the children. I think everyone is upset because their investment portfolio does not include marijuana and they aren’t making money off of it. Otherwise please, someone explain to me the difference between non addictive marijuana and opioids that so many people are on. I don’t see any opioid dispensing facilities offering classes on pain management, meditation, yoga and such.

    • I do believe there is a need. And support the legalization of medical marijuana. I don’t understand, though, why any of these locations are being discussed. Is there a reason they cannot be in an office space- or medical offices/suites, which would seem most logical?

  5. Phillip Perri

    Valerie: The Town will not see any revenue off marijuana, only the state will. Look into it. At the last hearings multiple doctors as well as a drug researcher testified that marijuana is addictive and a gateway drug. Yes, BTW, it is a schedule 1 illegal drug as per the federal government. Ongoing use of marijuana causes permanent changes in the brain chemistry, especially for anyone under 25. It is known to cause lethargy, malaise and retard motivation. Denver, since recreational marijuana has been legal, is now experiencing an aberrant rise in school drop out rates, homelessness and pedestrian fatalities, the latter attributed to people walking across streets using their phone while high. But of course no one under 25 will get their hands on marijuana, it would be restricted like alcohol and cigarettes….that worked well. Good plan. Medical marijuana should be dispensed out of a medical office in an office building. I haven’t heard one legitimate reason why not.

    • How can you say the town will not receive any revenue? Do you think people from out of town will come to Westport to go to the dispensary and just go right back home? People will shop and dine while they’re here. Which hopefully will fill some of the many commercial vacancies around town. When businesses are doing well in Westport, we all benefit.

      Find out who sponsored the people who testify and research. Most often they are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies just under another name.

      Ongoing use of ANY drug is bad for you. And use of many drugs under the age of 25 have similar effects on the brain. Are you aware as to the number of kids under the age of 10 on antidepressants? The number is staggering! I am not advocating for people under 21 (unless sick and prescribed by a doctor) to be able to get marijuana from a dispensary, but it is readily available at SHS.

      The reason of the many issues in Denver and CO is that it was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana and an influx of people moved out there just for that.

      As for dispensing medical marijuana, I think it’s a great idea to dispense it out of a medical office. They do require a lot of space between storing the inventory, offices for consultations, rooms for education and seminars, as well as high security for getting in Is there an available medical building that meets all of the criteria the town imposed?

      Lastly, where were all of the people against this when it was being discussed over the past several years? I don’t know the exact number but I believe it was discussed and tabled at least 3 times over 2+ years. It was all very well publicized. Is it just new residents to Westport that are against this? Or was everyone just asleep at the wheel until it became a reality?

      • Phillip Perri

        Valerie: With all due respect (and I mean that), if you’re entitled to get medical marijuana you’re suppose to be so debilitated that hanging around to sample the splendor that is Westport would be out of the question. As per the applicants one of the reasons they need multiple locations close together is that the clients can’t physically travel too far or must be driven because of their ailments. However, I was actually specifically talking about tax revenue, which goes to the State only.
        There are at least 5 office buildings in proximity to the proposed retail locations, all with high vacancy and more than enough room. As an added incentive, office space is substantially less expensive in rent than office space as well, so more profit margin for the applicants. One such building, next door to the Academy of Dance is actually all medical offices already. We can compassionately help those in need of medical marijuana while protecting the majority of Westport citizens and our kids.

      • William Strittmatter

        Really? Additional local purchases by folks coming to Westport to pick up their medical marijuana? In that case, maybe the dispensaries should be located downtown given the seeming decline in foot traffic there. Would help them combat the new Norwalk mall too.

        While the P&Z is at it, maybe they can OK a massage parlor, tattoo shop and an indoor shooting range too. I imagine we can get creative on what else to approve. You know, for the added foot traffic to boost local sales. Got to help out those local businesses.

        Yes that was sarcasm and yes I understand it is the lowest form of wit. But….seriously, a concern for local businesses is why this should be supported?

        • So all patients requiring medical marijuana are derelicts? My roommate from college has MS. When her symptoms begin to flare up she finds marijuana helps. That does not mean she is on bedrest! Quite the contrary, when she feels better she is finally able to get out and about to run errands and partake in things healthy people take for granted. People undergoing chemotherapy who use medical marijuana to feel better should not be allowed to run errands or perhaps with the nausea gone, dine?

          I am not sure how you can compare sick people needing medicine to a massage parlor, tattoo shop and an indoor shooting range, although a massage parlor would possibly make a sick person feel better if the masseuse was especially trained in techniques for certain diseases. A tattoo parlor could help the woman who had a mastectomy and reconstruction have nipples again (yes they are tattooed on).

          I guess I am overall disappointed with all of these protestors coming in at the 11th hour when this has been discussed multiple times for years and always well publicized. And furthermore saddened by the lack of compassion people have for others. No one would be forcing anyone to use medical marijuana just as no one can force someone to use painkillers or other pharmaceutical medicine. Westporters used to embrace forward thinking and respecting people’s legal lifestyle choices.

          I do sincerely hope that none of you or especially your family members are ever sick with an ailment that medical marijuana can help with, it makes me sad to think you would limit their way to feel better.

          And I would love nothing more for a medical office building to be a site of one of the dispensaries, it is an excellent choice.

          • William Strittmatter

            I don’t believe I suggested that folks needing medical marijuana were derelicts. Nor, necessarily, are folks using some of the other potential tenants as you seem to imply. My comments were merely intended to point out the thin logic behind your argument in support of the locations.

            For what it is worth, I’m fine with medical marijuana being prescribed, even though studies are mixed on its efficacy. I tend to agree with Mr. Perri however – “Medical marijuana should be dispensed out of a medical office in an office building.” Your friend could just as easily procure their prescription there versus the other locations. More discretely as well. And could still do some local shopping.

            Slipping it in to a retail location is almost certainly intended for other than purely utilitarian purposes as a number of other folks have commented.

          • Valerie,

            I hope Westport still embraces forward thinking – meanwhile the state pushes the idea of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the town could shut the door to protect our kids from getting unnecessary exposure.

            There will be many choices near Wesport to shop for marijuana. As a matter of fact, there are not that many Wesport medical marijuana users. All I’ve heard on the hearing is patients the speakers know, except for one local resident

      • Valerie, I cannot understand your logic of sick patients going to grab marijuana will shop and dine near the dispensary. According to many testifiers last night, the primary users are cancer patients who use marijuana for pain relief….

        On the other note, if the proposed buildings are used for recreational purpose, I can see your statement of shopping and dining near the dispensary valid. Are you indicating for recreational use is better for the town?

  6. The application for the location at the old Pier 1 location makes no sense and shows the desperation for a location. The Pier 1 location is within 500 feet of a very busy bus pick up and drop off for Westport Students. Four buses a day make the pick up. The Greens Farms elementary school and Kidville are each located about 1500 to 2000 feet away. Children walk on the sidewalk in front of Pier 1 location. There is a densely populated condo development (Regents Park) no more than 100 feet from Pier 1. The condo. development has young children living there. The traffic on the Post Rd. infront and and near the Pier 1 location is already at max levels. There are two restaurants next to Pier 1 that cater to families.
    I could go on and on about how this location is the worse location compared to all the others. The building owner Urstadt-Biddle which is located in Greenwich is probably desperate to rent the Pier 1 space just to get some income. Are there any marijuana locations in Greenwich?
    I do believe is what is happening is that since there is so much empty retail space in Westport that the building owners will take anything to gain revenue.
    The medical marijuana owners are throwing applications at the wall in order to get something approved.

  7. If they decide on 1460 Post Road, the site of the old bowling lanes, it would be fitting. After all, when my grandfather started farming that property in 1917, before it became a bowling lanes in 1958, he complained about how the land was full of ” weeds.”

    • Sharon Paulsen

      Tee hee … that was giggle worthy!

      • Actually what I wrote was true. I have a few pictures taken from the miniature around 1956, and you can see the empty property with tall weeds, not being used as farmland. It was a part of the 7 acres my grandfather bought in 1917 for $5,000 dollars, with no money down at 5 percent Interest. He paid it off in 1927. My son has the original deed dated March 30, 1917. My grandfather bought it from Dr. Taylor.

  8. Phillip Perri

    BTW, not only are there 5 medical marijuana dispensary applications before the P&Z but it was reported last night that Norwalk has a MM application for the former Panera Bread location on Westport Avenue……about a tenth of a mile west of the Dance Academy building (if that much). Still think this is not about anticipating legal recreational use and $$$$$$$? Wake up folks.

  9. Elaine Marino

    If the dispensary business is expected to bring a higher volume of daily traffic to Westport, 1803 Post Road East does not seem suitable given its parking situation (i.e., thirteen spots are shared with two other businesses, and require the customer to back out on to Post Road when they leave). The 1460 Post Road East location has significantly more parking available and doesn’t require backing out on to Post Road.

    • So which is it, Westport: More traffic coming in (more parking spaces needed), or not enough demand (we don’t need dispensaries)?

      • Elaine Marino

        Dan: Did you direct your question at me? I am not questioning whether there is a demand for a medical marijuana dispensary in Westport; I assume the business owners have done their due diligence to determine the market potential, etc. I was only questioning the suitability of 1803 Post Road East because of what I believe are its parking limitations.

        — Elaine

  10. The inflow of number of applicants of dispensaries and the “blackmail” attempt of 1505 Post Road E attorney during the public hearing on April 5th should be a wake-up call for many Westport residents. What’s the last time anyone see that many “hospital” applications clustered in such a tiny area in a month or two?

  11. Craig Mckenley

    I have read many articles about medical marijuana and how it can help you in terms of chronic pain, bone injuries, eating disorder/anorexia, anxiety disorders and panic attacks, inflammation, even cancer and a lot more. Like this article about a marijuana strain from http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/dawgs-waltz/ . Cbd and thc are also new to me and I don’t even smoke. If this is true I cant find any solid conclusive evidence that speaks to its efficacy.

  12. I want the bowling back And the movie theatres!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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