WEST HARTFORD — The state is one week away from the legalization of recreational marijuana, and a lot of questions remain as towns and police departments scramble to figure out how to implement and enforce the new law.
In West Hartford, officials are taking a proactive approach. The Town Manager is conducting a study he hopes to present to the Town Council.
“They’re going to be evaluating and providing a framework so that we can understand and have a robust discussion on how best to implement,” said Town Councilman Lee Gold.
Gold says the study will look at how and where to put retail businesses that may sell marijuana, among other top priorities which include:
“Health concerns, obviously. Locations of where it’s going to be allowed or not allowed. There’s going to be situations we’re going to be discussing in terms of where the dispensaries are located,” described Gold.
He says it’s an exciting time—one loaded with opportunity but also responsibility. Gold says West Hartford will be listening to residents from both sides on how and if to move forward with retail sales and other aspects of the new bill.
“It’s a cutting edge type of scenario that other states have embraced and I’d like to see how we can best implement it,” said Gold.
With legalization starting July 1, but retail sales in the state not likely till next year, one question is what that means for Connecticut residents who buy and bring home the drug from out of state.
WEB EXTRA: Marijuana is legal to possess in CT starting July 1, but the recreational sales won’t start till 2022. So where can you buy it if you want to get high?
Law enforcement officials across the state are also evaluating how best to operate under the bill’s new guidelines. Many departments we spoke to are still reviewing the legislation to figure out what it means for their officers’ day-to-day.
Back in West Hartford, Gold says he hopes the town’s research will help clear up some of the gray area.
“We want to do what’s best for West Hartford, and move forward in the direction that benefits our town.”