Cannabis store to open in Manchester near Buckland mall.

MANCHESTER — A national cannabis cultivator and retailer plans to move a medical dispensary from Hartford to a former Friendly’s restaurant near the Buckland mall.

Curaleaf plans on moving its dispensary at Weston St. in Hartford to Manchester, at 240 Buckland St. Manchester officials announced that the new business would be a hybrid and offer recreational and medical sales.

This week, the planning and zoning committee approved the new use of the building measuring 4,322 square feet. Benjamin Clack, Curaleaf’s attorney, stated that the company must now get state approval to both move the Connecticut medical dispensary license to Manchester and offer recreational sales at the Manchester location. Clack stated that the goal is to obtain these approvals in the next few months and open a hybrid store by early next year.

Buckland Street’s building is currently unaffected by major changes. It is located on 1 acres in the general business area. A Chili’s restaurant is also nearby. North of the site, you will find a park-and-ride state-owned lot.

Business hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The store interior will include space for employees, a vault to store product, and a break room for employees. According to town documents, 10-12 employees will be present each day, including five to six workers per hour.

According to Curaleaf, there are 134 dispensaries and 26 cultivation locations in 22 states. This includes New York, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, and New Jersey. According to its website, Curaleaf also has a Hartford dispensary and medical dispensaries located in Stamford Groton, Milford, and New York. 

“Providing patients with quality cannabis for health and wellness has been our focus for the last decade,”The company was stated on the website.

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Unable to reach a company representative for comment

The planning and zoning committee had to consider local regulations, which state that no cannabis establishment may be located within 500 feet of schools or within 200 feet from religious or charitable institutions, hospitals, or veterans’ homes. Local regulations also prohibit the operation of cannabis shops/dispensaries between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day, except Sundays when they are open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Fine Fettle Dispensary was approved by the commission to sell cannabis retail in June. Fine Fettle is one of three tenants located in a building at number 91 Hale Road. Fine Fettle owns cannabis dispensaries throughout Massachusetts, including Rowley, Rowley and Willimantic. According to a town report, security measures at Manchester included a 360-degree surveillance cam, two intrusion detection system and controlled access via keycards.

The Buckland Street site has two entrance points off Buckland Street, one shared with Chili’s. Officials stated that access to the Buckland Street site is only possible from the southbound lane. This makes entry and exit an only right-turn as the Buckland Street section is divided by a median. According to a traffic engineer’s report, 35 vehicles will enter the site every hour during peak business hours. The same number of vehicles will leave. According to the engineer, there is no disruption to local traffic.

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