Saturday, October 01, 2022

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Bluepoint Earns Unanimous ‘Yes’ from PZC in Bid for Recreational Cannabis Sales

It’s a unanimous “yes” from Branford’s Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) to approve a special exception application that will allow Bluepoint Apothecary, LLC to begin selling recreational cannabis at its current site on East Main Street.

At a July 7 meeting, Town Planner Harry Smith reviewed the amended zoning regulations in a prepared motion to approve the application, adding additional language regarding landscaping and operating hours to the previously approved regulations. Bluepoint is now in its fourth year operating a medical marijuana dispensary at 471 East Main Street, and this new approval clears the final hurdle in allowing the sale of recreation cannabis.

The text amendment includes distance requirements for storage facilities which will effectively make Bluepoint the only hybrid retail cannabis establishment which can operate in Branford. The PZC also set operating hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday as language in the newly-amended text regulation.

Commission members voting on July 7 were chairman Charles “Chuck” Andres, commissioners Joe Viauso, Joe Chadwick, and Fred Russo, and alternate commissioner Sharon Huttner. Secretary Marci Palluzzi was not in attendance. Viauso made the motion to approve the special exception with the amended regulations, receiving a second from Chadwick. All gathered commissioners voted to approve the application without further discussion.

Both the text amendment application and the special exception application were brought before the PZC together. PZC public hearings on the applications opened June 2 and concluded during the June 16 PZC meeting, which was held via Zoom. No members of the public came forward to speak on the applications during the two-part public hearing.

On June 16, following the PZC’s unanimous vote to approve the text amendment, Andres directed Town Planner Harry Smith to prepare the motion to approve the special exception application. Smith was instructed to add in several conditions developed as a result of the PZC’s review and discussion. Changes to landscaping, lighting, and hours of operation are among the conditions which will be added.

Despite the unanimous vote from the PZC, the motion to approve notes that the approval will not be effective until July 14. Bluepoint is not expected to begin recreational sales until late 2022.

Senior Staff Writer Pam Johnson contributed to this report.

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